Our current feature organization is the Disability Resource Library (DRL) in Iowa City.
Among Iowa’s libraries, The Disability Resource Library (DRL) in Iowa City is unique as an academic family resource center focused solely on disabilities throughout the lifespan. Housed in the Center for Disabilities and Development on the University of Iowa campus, the library is staffed by a research librarian trained in the health sciences who can locate information on any number of disability-related topics. At the same time, the library is heart and soul a family- and person-centered resource that strives to respond to each client in his or her comfort zone. We have a collection of over 6,000 items in formats that include books, DVDs, CD-ROMs, curriculum packages, assistive technology and even therapeutic toys! Iowans visit us in person, via phone, or on the Internet to connect with such key issues as health care, basic living skills, education, behavioral challenges, communication, sexuality issues, assistive technology, and advocacy. In fact, the DRL lives up to its motto, “We Deliver!” Chances are that if you call us for material today, that material will be on your doorstep tomorrow, no matter where you call from in the state of Iowa. In our 16 years of existence as a library, we have fielded questions from every county in Iowa, and delivered materials to rural families as well as to individuals in our own community who could not otherwise come to the library.
We share information with our patrons through one-on-one consultation, newsletters, presentations, workshops and conferences. The DRL has an extensive disability reference collection that is enhanced many times over by access to the content-rich databases of the University of Iowa Libraries. Persons with disabilities, parents, clinicians and professionals from all walks of life rely on us to provide concise information in the format in which they desire it. Case in point, we once had a physician ask us for a braille book in Spanish; we didn’t have one – we had two!
In 2013, the Disability Resource Library will continue to grow by acquiring the collection of the Iowa Department of Education’s Regional Autism Service Program (RASP). This will assure our continued leadership in providing autism materials – many of which are unique – to our clients statewide.
Our assistive technology (AT) collection, funded by the Iowa Program for Assistive Technology (IPAT) includes educational technology and computer peripherals for loan as well as software for use on the library premises. The most popular items in circulation are the iPod and the iPad, which contain primarily communication apps for trial in the home. Our current catalog of devices and software can be found directly at this link. A new catalog will be coming this spring with an enhanced collection of materials, including more alternative keyboards, innovative switches and computer interfaces, switch-enabled toys for children, and portable recording systems. It’s important to note that we do not sell this equipment; it is available for home trial up to one month. If the trial is successful, the DRL will direct consumers to our information partner, Iowa COMPASS, for further funding or product options.
The Disability Resource Library is open weekdays, 8:30 to 5:30. There is never a charge for our services. Our phone messaging system is available at all times: call locally 319-356-1345 or call toll-free, 1-800-272-7713. Reach us online at: http://www.uichildrens.org/cdd/drl/. Any way you approach us, we deliver.