X-Ray Vision: Creating an Inspiring Workplace for Library Staff with Hidden Disabilities

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Census for 2000; from 1991 to 2000, there were a growing number of workers who self-identified as having one or more disabilities. Since 2000, demographic changes tell us this trend is continuing at an alarming rate. The academic library worker is one segment of the workforce that may be dealing with the stresses of hidden disabilities, and creates an imperative for us to address the issue of hidden disabilities for our profession. These trends also indicate a significant portion of our workers will need access to in house disability services. In order to address these issues we must create an environment that eliminates myths and stereotypes, and answer a few questions surrounding this social diversity. Are we prepared to face the truth about visible and hidden disabilities? Is there a comfort level for those with disabilities that promote a positive job performance? Why should we commit to establish a work environment where every library staff can develop their professional potential without fear? These questions and others will be answered as we research and analyze data that will help us understand interaction of co-workers, as well as customers, and identify best practices on recruitment and retention of library staff with hidden disabilities.


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