In this blog post, Ariel Robinson, Chicago History Museum Research Center web site and a library graduate, writes about her experience developing a LibGuide for disability studies for CHM.
I began my research by speaking with Gretchen and Elizabeth about the structure of the guide and their critical cataloging work, updating the key words and topic headings for work on disability to reflect modern language changes. My research began with work by disability rights activists on museum collections, language choice and identity. This led me to Project LETS, which describes itself as a “national grassroots organization and movement run by and for people with lived experience of mental illness / insanity, disability, trauma and neurodivergence”.
The recorded conversation between Stacey Milbern and Patty Bern, “My body doesn’t oppress me, but society” presented by the Barnard Center for Research on Women, has broken down the difference between impairment and disability. According to Milbern and Bern, “impairment” is the manifestation of a neurological or physical condition, and “disability” arises from inadequate efforts by society to create an accessible world through accommodation and design that imposes barriers on people with disabilities and makes them difficult for them to access. to participate fully or to move within society. I have chosen to take into account this difference in linguistic usage (see the “Evolution of Language: Concepts and Theories of Disability Identity” field) in addition to the main content of the guide, which is based on ideas supported by the majority of disability studies scholars become.
I’ve also involved some local organizations that provide resources or influence policies regarding people with disabilities in Chicago. For example, Access Living is a local organization that advocates services such as housing, peer support, and access to transportation. The “Featured CHM Collections” field in the LibGuide contains links to a Studs Terkel interview with founder Susan Nussbaum. In addition to this interview, articles are available for every media type – audio, published material, photos, and archive collections. (Note: Everything but archive footage is still available while the Ostkeller is being renovated.)
While working on this guide, I found several smaller local initiatives mainly focused on mental health that didn’t quite fit the guide. Some of these were temporary popups like coffee shops or ongoing work by existing organizations.
In addition to adding content to the guide, I’ve also changed the color scheme and layout of the guide to meet web accessibility standards and improve the overall look and feel of all researchers. I used the WAVE extension for Chrome to check color contrast, screen reading technology compatibility, and other design features. All LibGuides at the research center now have a color scheme that passes WAVE’s color contrast test and matches the museum’s color scheme.
This press release was generated by the Chicago Historical Society blog. The views expressed here are the author’s own.