Forbes Library Disability Advisory Board

25 September 2019

3:00 PM


Attending: Barbara Black, Ben Kalish, Joel Dansky, Lisa Downing, Mary Jo Stanley, Dorothy Baker


  1. Announcements
    1. Scent-free restrooms are available on every level. Bathrooms with air fresheners are clearly labeled. The library still aims to address the underlying concern of inadequate ventilation in the restrooms. 
    2. New Closed Captioned Videos search at https://forbeslibrary.org/accessibility/for-people-who-are-deaf-and-hard-of-hearing/. This lives on a page on the library’s website and was added to make it easier for patrons to find them.
    3. Accessibility Labs at Forbes Library are an offshoot of the series we have been running on specific topics with Rick Ely. We have moved to the lab format because it allows people to get help on what they are interested in. Barbara commented that Northampton Neighbors and the Conz Street Chronicle are both good ways to reach people. The next lab is October 11th.
    4. Staff Accessibility Committee will meet in October. This is a group for library staff to discuss and plan. This group is welcome to suggest topics for the staff to discuss.
    5. Assistive Technology Fair updates: we are still assuming that there will be a regional fair at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Spring 2020. Lisa will follow up to see if she can get an update.
    6. Grant Applications – master plan for grounds (CPA) & restroom upgrades (Community Block Grant) – An application was submitted to the Community Preservation Committee to fund a master grounds plan that will include additional curb cuts. We will find out if we received it later this year. We are planning to submit a Community Block Grant application to make accessibility upgrades to the library’s restrooms early next year.
  2. Transportation issues and awareness – The library has recently added information about the Dial-A-Ride service available through the senior center. The service ends at 4 PM. Public transportation is insufficient in our area and the van service is very limited. Northampton Neighbors also offers a ride service as well. We may consider holding the meeting earlier so that people wanting to come via the Dial-A-Ride service can do so.
  3. ADA Anniversary in 2020 – 30th anniversary – We have talked about doing some film and book discussions in celebration. Lisa will reach out to the Disability Commission to alert them and see about coordinating our efforts. Andrew Leland, host and producer of the Organist. He might be someone for us to reach out to. Barbara knows him and is willing to put us in touch. Pam Plumer (pplumer@northampton-k12.us) oversees disability services at the schools and would be another good person to be in touch with. Special Olympics is another organization that we may want to be in touch with.