ALIA Disability


ALIA Disability was established as an ALIA Special Interest Group in May 2021, following a talk about Latrobe Community Health Service research into public libraries supporting people living with disability on 30 April, which attracted nearly 50 participants. The research found that libraries had the second highest satisfaction level, after museums and art galleries, for community-based activities - but more can be done.

ALIA Disability was formed to progress this agenda, with ALIA President Vicki Edmunds heading the Group, in line with her presidential theme of "diversity".

To add your name to the Group alert, click on 'Visit' which will take you to the ALIA Disability website, where you can join. We will send you information about forthcoming events direct to your in-box. We also advertise these opportunities in ALIA News and meetings are open to all.

National Special Interest Group 


Amy Rake 



Past events

30 April 2021 Presentations by Frances Riggs, Latrobe Community Health Service; Dr Jo Kaeding, Adelaide Hills public libraries; Lisa Bateman and Kerry Griffith, Moreton Bay public libraries, describing how public libraries support people living with disabilities. Watch the recording here.

29 June 2021 Sarah Runcie, CEO of the Brisbane Writers Festival, shared her insights into the work of the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative (AIPI), which she spearheaded in her previous role with the Australian Publishers Association. Watch the recording here.

11 August 2021 Sam Kingsley, from The Brainary introduced us to three assistive technologies for libraries. You can watch the recording to see find out about the TAPit Touch Accessible Platform Interactive Technology supporting people with a disability to access a computer and communicate; UbiDuo communication for people with deafness and significant hearing loss, and Skoog Music Assistive Music Technology providing people with disabilities access to music and music creation.

2 September 2021 Launch of the Australian Government National Disability Gateway. Helen Green, Director Information and Inclusion for the Australian Government Department of Social Services, hosted a webinar about the National Disability Gateway. Watch the recording here

29 November 2021 ALIA hosted a webinar for the ALIA Disability Group and Online Storytime community, bringing together an expert panel to talk about creating inclusive storytimes in the online environment. Watch the recording here

2 December 2021 Open mic session. Following some great meetings this year, with speakers from libraries, government, publishing and tech companies, for the last meeting of the ALIA Disability Group in 2021, we opened things up to you to participate in a quick fire round of big, small, clever things that you've done in recent times to improve services to people living with disability and to improve employment conditions for members of your own team.

16 February 2022 Programs and services for people with disabilities in libraries. Watch the recording here.

11 May 2022 Training for library staff to better understand and meet the needs of children and adults living with disability. Watch the recording here.

17 August 2022 Website accessibility. Watch the recording here.

16 November 2022 Learning from disability and inclusion officers working within libraries; supporting staff living with disability. Watch the recording here.

14 December 2022 Open mic session with the opportunity for you to share your stories

14 March 2023 What is disability? Watch the recording here.

17 May 2023 Neurodivergent learners. Watch the recording here.

27 September 2023 The Hidden Disability Sunflower program. Watch the recording here.

29 May 2024 Programming & Programs in the Library. Watch the recording here