Social Justice and Converging Theories: Library Service for Those with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD)


  • Matthew Conner University of California, Davis
  • Leah Plocharczyk Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter



While libraries have sought to advance diversity in their services, they have yet to engage a specific population which tests the limits of the profession’s capabilities and the scope of its mission.  Those with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) combine the categories of learning and physical disabilities and demand the highest level of support.  But the impediments to reading imposed by their cognitive condition make it difficult for them to access the library’s materials.  Beset by funding shortages and systemic change, what are libraries to do?  This study examines how convergent trends in educational theory and practice as well as grass-roots initiatives have created new possibilities for library services to this population.  The study reviews these trends as well as a case study to suggest that libraries have much of what they need in their traditional programming and training when combined with a deeper understanding of the dynamics of social justice.