ADA 32nd Anniversary

ADA 32nd Anniversary

This year marks 32 years since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The act was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush and has helped increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities in our nation’s workplaces and communities. In July, DC Public Library is celebrating this landmark legislation with some great events, thought-provoking reads, on-demand movies and documentaries and more!


ADA Comedy Night ADA Comedy Night! | Thursday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m.
MLK Library, 5th Floor

Join us for a night of free stand-up comedy, featuring all comedians with disabilities. Featuring Tina Friml (Just for Laughs Festival), Annam Choudhry (Louisville Comedy Club), and host Martin Phillips (DC Improv)! This program is for adults and may contain mature language.

*ASL Interpretation will be provided. The library and event are wheelchair accessible and will have chairs for general seating. Masks are required in the library at this time. For any other reasonable accommodations, please contact the Center for Accessibility at least seven (7) days in advance at 202-727-2142 or at

Who is Regé-Jean Page Bridgerton actor Simon Basset Duke of Hastings |  TatlerCan We Talk About Simon's Stutter Though?: Bridgerton as a Disability Narrative | Thursday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Southeast Neighborhood Library
Click to Register on the Event Page

While the first season of Bridgerton is not often understood as a disability narrative, it cannot be denied that Simon would not be averse to marrying and having children if his father had not rejected him for stuttering as a child. The fact that the premise of the series is based on a disability that is then underplayed and dismissed is an example of narrative prosthesis. In this talk, Tolonda Henderson will explore the ways in which narrative prosthesis is more pronounced in the Netflix Bridgerton adaptation than in the novel upon which it is based.

Child using ASL
Virtual ASL Story Time
Tuesday, July 12 at 2 p.m.
Join us on Facebook Live for American Sign Language (ASL) Story Time with Librarians Ms. Janice and Ms. Rachel! Janice will sign in ASL and Rachel will read aloud from a fun book, then teach some signs from our story, and how to sign the song “The More We Get Together.” Even though the program is designed for ages 2-5, all are welcome. Automatic captioning will be available. 

Smart Home Exhibit
Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

In celebration of ADA month, the Center for Accessibility in partnership with the DC Assistive Technology Program will be hosting the Smart Home Exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Libary in the New Books Room on the First Floor. It will be a showcase of the latest smart tech designed to bring ease to everyday home activities from some well-known tech like the Alexa and the Apple iPad to some not-so-well-known (but just as smart) tech like the Hero Medication dispenser and Kasa Smart light bulbs. This event is for all those looking to make their home just a bit more comfortable by the touch of a finger or the delivery of a word. 



Access This: A DC Public Library PodcastAccess This Podcast
DC Public Library's Center for Accessibility hosts the Access This Podcast where library staff connect with authors, academics, local officials, activists and more to talk about a variety of issues related to the disability community. Check out episodes from the past year below! You can find more DC Public Library Podcast episodes by searching "DC Public Library Podcast" wherever you get your Podcasts.
March 8, 2022
Slavery & Disability, A Relationship that Shapes Disability in America Today
Deborah and Dr. Dea Boster discuss the themes from the historian's book African American Slavery and Disability: Bodies, Property and Power in the Antebellum South, 1800-1860.
Nov. 6, 2021
Allie Genia
Jenny chats with The Labs' own Allie Genia about how they make library programs more accessible, navigating an invisible disability, and dream projects they'd love to do with The Labs.
Sept. 21, 2021
DC Office for the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (ODBH)
Jenny learns about the new DC Office for the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (ODBH) from activists Brianne Berger and Robb Dooling in honor of the International Week of the Deaf, taking place Sept. 20-26, 2021.
July 20, 2021
Access This: Crip Camp
As part of a month-long celebration of the ADA, Jenny chats with co-creator of the Oscar-nominated Documentary "Crip Camp," Jim LeBrecht, along with activist and author Judy Heumann.
June 15, 2021
Access This: Poet Marlena Chertock
Local poet and co-chair of the OutWrite Festival, DC's annual LGBTQ+ Literary Festival, Marlena Chertock talks with Jenny about disability in the literary community and shares a few poems.

Recommended Reads

Braille Collection
Child in a pink shirt reading a braille bookThe DC Public Library is home to a NEW Braille Collection! More than 700 titles are now available for you to browse and check out with your library card. Click here to see the collection in the online library catalog. The collection is continuing to grow so check back in at the Center for Accessibility at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library to see what is new on the shelves!

Books for Adults

Books for Youth


Movies Available on Kanopy

Born This Way
Born This Way follows a group of seven young adults born with Down syndrome as they pursue their passions and lifelong dreams, explore friendships, romantic relationships, and work, all while defying society's expectations.
Defiant Lives: A Film by Sarah Barton Defiant Lives
A triumphant film that traces the origins of the world-wide disability rights movement. It tells the stories of the individuals who bravely put their lives on the line to create a better world where everyone is valued and can participate.
Where is Hope? Where is Hope - The Art of Murder
It is estimated that over 50 percent of the victims of police brutality and police killings nationally have a disability that contributed to the incident. Disability is glazed over or not recorded in the official police reports. Nor is the fact adequately represented in the media and even in popular movement around this issue of police brutality in general. It informs us that for them, disability doesn't matter. But clearly disability does matter, and this documentary project makes that statement loud and clear.
Invitation to Dance - Disability in 21st Century America
Invitation to Dance is an eye-opening insider's account of disability in 21st century America. Simi Linton's story forms the narrative backbone of the documentary. The film traces both her personal growth as a disabled woman, and the larger historically significant developments around her over the past 40 years. Simi serves as navigator and tour guide to a world largely unknown, generally isolated, and commonly dismissed.
Image of a man as the cover image for "Blind People: You Can't Ask That" Blind People: You Can't Ask That
You Can't Ask That asks blind people the awkward, inappropriate or uncomfortable questions you've always wanted to know the answers to, but never had the guts to ask.

Center for Accessibility

The Center for Accessibility is committed to providing customers with disabilities equal access to library resources and services at all DC Public Library branches. The Center for Accessibility staff work to provide disability-related cultural programming, book clubs, and accessible game nights throughout the year as well as classes in American Sign Language and Assistive Technology. All services are free and open to all. Learn more about the work of the Center for Accessibility in the brief video embedded below.

To find out more we encourage you to:
  • Stop by the Center for Accessibility which is located on the second floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
  • Visit the Center for Accessibility webpage
  • Email
  • Call at 202-727-2142
  • Videophone at 202-559-5368