Inclusion Advisory Committee achievements 2017-18

Here are some improvements the Library has made during 2017-18 based on the Inclusion Advisory Committee's advice.

Photo of Inclusion Advisory Committee members

Back row (L to R): Mark Kunach, Naomi Malone, Dr Breda Carty, Timothy Hart. Front row (L to R): Ben Ackland, Gaele Sobott, Sarah Houbolt, Mark Tonga

The State Library NSW's Inclusion Advisory Committee was established in 2017 in response to the Library's Disability Inclusion Action Plan. The Committee, formed of 8 people with lived experience of disablity, provide direct input to the Library about how it can make its facilities and services more inclusive and accessible. Its current members are Dr Naomi Malone (Chair), Mr Ben Ackland, Dr Breda Carty, Mr Timothy Hart, Ms Sarah Houbolt, Mr Mark Kunach, Ms Gaele Sobott and Mr Mark Tonga.  The Committee is now coming up to the end of its 2-year term.  A new call for membership will be circulated shortly. 

Over its two-year term, the Committee has provided pertinent advice to the Library . The following is a selection of improvements that the Libary has made in response to this advice:

New accessible signage

Accessible signage installed by the Library


A raft of accessible signage has been installed in the Macquarie and Mitchell buildings. The signage features tactile lettering, braille and appropriately contrasted text for improved readability.  The design for this wayfinding was reviewed by Vision Australia and Guide Dogs NSW. A new sign was also installed at the entrance of the Library carpark to prevent those with limited mobility from entering given that the exit is only via stairs, with advice for alternative arangements.  A new signage package was also developed to promote the Library's adaptive technology facilities.


Height adjustable desks 

Height adjustable desks installed in the Library


Height adjustable desks have been installed in LG1 and LG2 of the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room. These desks are accessible to people who use a wheelchair. In addition to this, a height adjustable desk has been installed in a study room with priority for people who use a wheelchair. A new height adjustable service desk has also been installed.


Hazard prevention

Glass barrier beneath LG2 stairs


A glass barrier was installed beneath the staircase on LG1 of the Macquarie Building to eliminate the risk of people bumping their head.  On the same floor, new stickers were placed on glass partitions with appropriate contrast for improved visibility.


Disability Inclusion Action Plan registered with NSW Disability Council and Australian Human Rights Commission

Women celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare at the Library.

Women celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare at the Library.

Through the networks and advice provided by the Committee, the Library officially registered its revised Disability Inclusion Action Plan with the NSW Disability Council and Australian Human Rights Commission.



Oral history interviews of people with mental illness and disability

Sue Byatt interviewed for the Library's Oral History collections.

Sue Byatt interviewed for the Library's Oral History collections.

Thirteen interviews of people with mental illness and people with disability  were conducted by interviewer Louise Darmody and acquired for the Library's digital collections. The interviews document people's individual stories and contribute to capturing the diversity of disability of mental illness experienced by people across New South Wales. These interviews are discoverable through the Library's catalogue.


The Library is highly appreciative of the feedback and advice given by the Committee that led to these improvements. We look forward to the contribution and ideas from Committee members during the next two-year term between 2019 and 2020.