Today I am going to turn my blog over to my partner, Samantha Davies, who has more than a few things to say about disability and mental illness, and the way it is regarded by our society. Sam is 28, and has high functioning Autism and Bipolar Disorder.
As librarians, all of us have had clients with physical and mental disabilities come through our library, whether we realise it our not. Some are obvious (like my wheelchair), but some are much more hidden. It might be the girl who never looks you in the eye (only at your left ear), or the man who takes a few too many sick days off work due to anxiety, or the child who screams his way through Story Time no matter how hard his parents try to shush him. Disability in libraries needs to not only be acknowledged but catered for, and respected.