March 7, 2018 Library Hosts International Disability Rights Panel

Leaders to Discuss Accessibility and Inclusiveness Through the Arts

Press Contact: Deanna McCray-James (202) 707-9322
Public Contact: Travis Painter (202) 707-0522
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or

The Library of Congress Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Programs will bring together prominent leaders in the field of accessibility for a discussion. The event will highlight what the Library currently does for patrons and staff who have disabilities in addition to best practices for inclusion of people with disabilities in the arts and entertainment.

The “International Disability Rights and Inclusive Society Through the Arts” discussion will be held Thursday, March 29, at 11:30 a.m. in room 119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE Washington, DC.  The event is free and open to the public. Follow the conversation on Twitter at @librarycongress and #Accessibility.

Travis Painter, Interpreting Services Program manager at the Library, will introduce the speakers:

Judy Dixon Ph.D. is consumer relations officer at the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the Library of Congress. Dixon was the 2005 recipient of the Francis Joseph Campbell Award from the American Library Association and the 2009 recipient of the American Foundation for the Blind's Gallagher Award for serving as an outstanding role model to others who have vision loss. In addition to publishing numerous articles, she edited the volume "Braille into the Next Millennium," published by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in 2000.

Betty Siegel is director of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  She oversees national and international disability, arts and education programs including the VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education conference; the VSA Network of organizations engaging in disability arts and education; and the LEAD (Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability) network of cultural arts administrators addressing access to cultural experiences.

Kerry Thompson is founding executive director of Silent Rhythms, a nonprofit established in 2008 to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities through inclusion in the arts.

Beth Ziebarth currently serves as the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s accessibility program, where she develops and implements accessibility policy and guidelines for the Institution’s 19 museums, the National Zoo and nine research centers, ensuring that the Smithsonian’s 30 million annual visitors experience a welcoming environment that accommodates individuals of all ages and abilities.

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PR 18-018
ISSN 0731-3527