I N C R E A S I N G A W A R E N E S S T H R O U G H
P R A C T I C A L E X PE R I E N C E
Borrow a wheelchair from a disability service organisation, a nursing home or a hospital.
Organise each person in the group to take a turn at sitting in the chair and finding their own way from a car park into the library and locating a particular book.
Include in the exercise the physical location of a book high on a shelf in the back of the
You can add to the exercise by getting the person to visit the toilet areas, making a phone call and arranging to take a book out on loan.
Discuss the experiences of each person and draw up an action plan as to how the staff can be of assistance to a person with a physical disability in the future.
A similar exercise can be conducted by tying a piece of wood to one leg of each group member so that it is immobilised. Add some crutches and let them go.
A C C E S S
Following the awareness exercise, have the group undertake a survey of the library and its buildings and access points and discuss what needs to be done to meet legal requirements for access under the Disability Discrimination Act. Also discuss what would need to be done to go further to, if necessary, improve access to all facilities for people with a disability.
Submit a report on behalf of the group, "through normal channels", to library management.
V I S I T I N G S P E A K E R S
Visiting speakers, including professionally trained presenters who use a wheelchair, are available from disability service organisations to speak on disability awareness related to physical disabilities. You can contact the organisations separately or ring Disability Education Services on:
(03) 9723 6745