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ALISE Webinar | Student-Centered Instruction and Autistic LIS Students
Thursday, February 23, 2023, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST
Category: Webinar

Student-Centered Instruction and Autistic LIS Students

Presented By:

Dr. Amelia Anderson, Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University
Rachel Combs, Disability Accommodations Consultant/Part-time Information Science Instructor, University of Kentucky
Dr. Mirah Dow, Professor, Emporia State University
Dr. Brady Lund, Assistant Professor, University of North Texas

Moderated By:

Dr. Kim M. Thompson, Professor, University of South Carolina

Presentation Description:

This webinar will focus on the experiences, strengths and challenges, and support needs of autistic LIS students*, based on the perspectives and experiences of educators, student support staff, and most importantly autistic students themselves.

Because autism spectrum disorder (ASD) manifests in so many unique ways, providing a variety of perspectives on working with individuals on this spectrum is crucial; this webinar will help instructors effectively serve as educators and mentors who recognize the unique abilities as well as challenges presented by autistic individuals.*the wording “autistic students” is used in this webinar because it is the preferred wording among many members of the autism community. However, we acknowledge that some prefer person-first language (“individuals with autism”) and hope that this wording choice will not detract from important discussions surrounding this topic.

Presenter Bios:

Amelia AndersonDr. Amelia Anderson is an assistant professor of library science at Old Dominion University. She has extensive experience on the topics of neurodiversity, disability, and libraries through her work as a public librarian, library researcher, and educator. Amelia is the author of Library Programming for Autistic Children and Teens, 2nd Edition, published by ALA Editions. She was the managing PI on the IMLS planning grant Accessibility in Making (LG-246292-OLS-20), which identified opportunities in public library makerspaces for patrons with disabilities. Amelia earned her MLIS and Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Rachel CombsRachel G. Combs, MSLS, is Disability Accommodations Consultant at the University of Kentucky Disability Resource Center and part-time Instructor in the UK School of Information Science. Combs earned an MSLS and a graduate certificate in Developmental Disabilities from the University of Kentucky. Combs previously worked in academic libraries for 16 years. Combs has presented on topics related to neurodiversity, creating an inclusive academic library, and Universal Design for Learning approaches to information literacy. In addition, she developed three disability-related guides designed to support students with disabilities, librarians, and educators. Combs created a state-wide Accessibility in Libraries Listserv for all library and information professionals across public, school, academic and special libraries in Kentucky to share ideas, events, programs, and other resources related to disability and inclusion. Combs serves on the UK Neurodiverse Educational and Social Initiative (NESI) and previously served on the Project Advisory Committee for IMLS-funded program, Library Services to Patrons with Disabilities: A Problem-Based Learning Approach. Combs developed and taught a LIS graduate course titled, Disability and Access in Libraries.


Mirah DowDr. Mirah J. Dow is a professor and Director of the Ph.D. program in the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University. Dow was the founding Director of the Kansas Resource Center on Autism at The Teachers College, Emporia State University, a collaborative project with the TEACCH® Autism Program, The University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Dow’s research and teaching has long focused on neurodiversity and life and learning challenges and opportunities. Dow serves as an advisory for the ALA Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Accessible Small and Rural Communities grant, which offers more than $7 million to increase the accessibility of facilities, services, and programs to better serve people with disabilities.

Brady Lund

Dr. Brady D. Lund is an assistant professor of information science at the University of North Texas. Several of his past and ongoing research and professional advocacy efforts focus on improving equity for neurodivergent populations within higher education, including employment for autistic librarians and graduate/Ph.D. students, support for autistic international students, and the privacy and security behavior of autistic college students.


 Thank you ALISE SIG Disabilities in LIS for organizing this webinar!

ALISE SIG Disabilities in LIS Co-Conveners
Kim Thompson
Keren Dali
Andrew Smith

ALISE SIG Disabilities in LIS Webinar Co-Coordinators
Clayton A. Copeland
Kevin Mallary

 Live Captioning in Zoom

Attendees can click the Live Captioning button shown on the bottom of the screen, and then select show captions.


Webinar:  February 23, 2023, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Complimentary for ALISE members, $50 for non-members.