Univ. of Iowa Hospitals library offers resources for and about people with disabilities

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 12:16 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Disability Resource Library, located inside the Center for Disabilities and Development at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, is a home to hundreds of books, toys, software and more, all providing information for, by and about people with disabilities.

It operates a lot like a standard library, and anyone can come in and check out a book for free. There are hundreds of books to choose from, spanning dozens of topics and several languages.

Mitchell DeFauw, the Disability Resource Librarian, says many of the people he sees are looking for resources after learning a diagnosis for the first time.

“Learning about this, about themselves, for the first time, it can feel very isolating. So I’ve tried my best to just make that into as easy a process as possible and show that they’re not alone,” DeFauw said.

Another room in the CDD is called “Prescription to Play.” It’s full of toys recommended by providers to help kids develop mechanical and social skills. They even have some assistive technology families can try out.

“This is a place that all people are welcome to visit, and I am always excited to see anybody who does decide to visit our library. No question is too small. No problem is not important enough for help,” said DeFauw.

DeFauw even stocks materials used by professionals, which he works to keep updated as the field is constantly learning new things. About 60 percent of the materials in the DRL are not found in any other SILO (State of Iowa Library Organization) library. People can borrow materials in person or by mail.