The paper discusses issues with regards to ways of supporting the handicapped persons in the school library, why we need to support them and possible challenges we may likely encounter when trying to support the handicapped persons and the possible remediation procedure that can be taken. The paper highlighted that handicapped persons such as visual impaired and hearing impaired can be supported through the use of sign language, Braille machine, talking books etc. And the reason handicapped persons should be supported in the school library is to enable them enjoy equal educational opportunities overcome illiteracy and deprivation of vocational/carrier pursuit. Poor funding, lack of facilities, poor attitude towards the handicapped person, lack of policy implementation and lack of special education teacher librarian to assist the handicapped person. Adequate funding, policies implementation, empathic attitude towards the handicapped  persons, recruitment of special educationist in the school libraries were some of the recommendation made to ensure that handicapped persons were supported in the school library.


        This concept implies equal educational opportunities for all. By implication, every child has the right to receive help in learning institution    to the limit of his/her capacity not with standing his/her disability.

        School library services are not designed for formal people only but for all who can benefit from it including the physical handicapped. The Federal Government in it’s   National policy on education (2004) states it’s the purpose and objectives thus:

To give concrete meaning to the idea of equalizing educational opportunities to all children, their physical, mental, emotional disabilities not withstanding.

To provide adequate education for all children and adults in order that they may fully play their roles in the development of the nation.

        Even though top service has been paid to the education of the handicapped in the National policy on education, the actual implementation and realization of these educational objectives is far from being fulfilled. In our regular school system, it is a common knowledge that most of these children are marginalized, mocked or out rightly asked to withdraw fro school.

        This paper will discuss the concept of handicapped person, the concept of  school libraries, ways of supporting handicapped persons in the school libraries, challenges faced in supporting handicapped persons in the school libraries, the way forward, and possible recommendations.


        A handicapped person is a person who has some conditions that markedly restricts their ability to function physically, mentally or socially. (Raskind, 2000).  Handicapped children suffer from exclusion, isolation and discrimination in the school library, and the society as a whole. Many legislative and protective attempts have been introduced for handicapped persons on global canvas, the convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities by the United Nations Organization (UNO) has been signed by the big majority of countries that protects and enhances the rights and opportunities for the handicapped persons.

        There are various categories of handicapped persons namely:

The Visually Impaired: These are people who cannot see or may have partial blindness such as shortsightedness and long-sightedness.

The Hearing Impaired: These are people who cannot hear and may not be able to talk.

The Physically Challenged: These are people who have one from of deformity on the any part of the body such as hands, legs etc which restrict their movement and ability to write and manipulate objects. National library service for handicapped persons is one of the association that promotes the right and educational opportunities of the handicapped persons.


        A school library is an organized collection of print, non print, audio-visual and electronic media carefully selected, described and systematically arranged in a school for the use of teachers, pupils, student to aid the attainment of their educational goals. School library is the heart of an institution of learning. (Queen, 2004)  school library is also defined as library attached to a school such as preprimary/primary and secondary school to supplement the teaching and learning process. The school library cater for children who are eager to read and also for backward children who read with difficulty

        They National policy on education defined the goals of the school libraries as incorporating the following:

To stimulate and enhance the development of reading skills and personal enrichment.

To enrich children’s knowledge of reading, speaking and writing.

To promote children’s to literacy appreciation.

To act as an information centre for the support of the curriculum instructional.

To be a clinic for intellectual development or special gifts and talent.

To provide students with vocational information leading to the choice of a suitable career.

To provide for recreation.

To train children in how to care for books, make good and intelligent use of the library.


        Libraries resources are mainly classified into 4 groups namely:

Print Materials: E.g books

Non-Print Material:  Charts

Visual Audio Material: Such as video tapes, disk and tape recorder, projector etc.

E-recourses: Such as electronic catalogue.

        The criteria for selecting these libraries resources are:

The should be suitable for the reading level of the children, their age, cognitive abilities, interest and relevance to student subject matter.

The should be adequate in scope for coverage and suitable to different academic levels of the children.

It should carry current information that is capable of generating children’s interest.

If it is in an Early Childhood centre, the print materials should have big font size, pictorial illustration with attractive colours to beautify the appearance of the book.

School library materials /resources should be relevant to the children’s culture.

        The teacher librarian maps information literacy, teach research skills, technological skills, reading comprehension skills, select policy rules for student behaviour in the library, organize educating programmes like Quiz competition, dramatic and debatic  Club etc  (Okpala, 2008).


(1)    Visually impaired:

Information on print material should be subtitles in audio tapes, CD, DVD or in a Daisy format.

Information on printed books should be in a large font size.

Bralle machine /Braile books should be provided.

Digital Audio information system player should be provided.

Talking books should also be provided.

Talking calculators should be provided. (Mishra, 2010)

(2)    Hearing impaired, School libraries must have:

(i)     Staffs members showed use sign language to communicate with the hearing impaired.

 (ii)   They should provide audio meter to enhance the hearing ability of those who have partial hearing impairment.

Provide information and referral services called Telecommunication devices for the Deaf (TDDS) as well as television telecasting decoders.

Oral information should be subtitled into video tapes and sign language books.

Information should be send through the email.

(3)    For the physically handicapped:

(i)     The entrance of the school library should be made accessible for their wheel chair, if not a secondary entrance should be provided.

(ii)    Pictogram signs leading to elevators should be provided.

Shelves that are reachable from a wheel chair should be provided.

Chairs with study arm rests should be provided etc. (Owobi, 2008).


To enable them enjoy the right to education as their fellow citizens do.

To develop skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes and dispositions that will foster national development and improve the conditions of living.

To make them liberated from the shackles of illiteracy ignorance and deprivation of educational goals.

To enable them develop positive attitude towards using improved methods/ techniques in their various intellectual and or vocational fields.

Adapts to changes in the environment easily and live amicably with their fellow student in order to promote national unity and national consciences.

To live freely in the free and democratic society.

To enjoy the bright and full opportunities meant for all citizens.

To become integrated into the socio-economic and political spheres of our national life.To complete their educational tasks and participate on an equal basis with their developing peers in the regular educational environment. (Okpala, 2008).


Lack of specialized teacher librarians for the handicapped children.

Lack of appropriate handicapped legislation and policies and poor implementation.

Limitation of finance.

Poor public attitude towards the handicapped persons.

Lack of facilities and technological tools that can assist the handicapped children.

Inadequate school libraries collections that fit the handicapped children utilization

Poor Architectural accessibility.

Lack of public enlightenment.

Lack of specialized teacher librarian for the handicapped children: Most school libraries  lacks special education librarians that can interpret information through sign language, or assist the visual impaired to use the Braille machine (Obot, 2008).

Lack of appropriate handicapped legislation, polices and implementation: Polices that protects the right for the education of the handicapped persons are not fully implemented, school librarian (some) do not put the handicapped persons into consideration when selecting the school library collections.

Limitation of finance: School libraries lacks adequate  financial support that would have enable them purchase  technological tools such as Braille machine, talking  books, audio  tapes,  sign language, books audio meter, wheel chair etc. to assist the handicapped persons.

Poor public attitude towards the handicapped persons: In Nigeria, the handicapped persons are generally seen as societal misfit. When care is given to them, it is done with an attitude of pessimistic sympathy, rather than an optimistic attitude.

Lack of facilities and technological tools that can assist the handicapped persons: Most school libraries lacks shelves that are reachable from a wheel chairs, and assistive technology that can assist the handicapped children

Poor Architectural Accessibility: Most school libraries are built in such a way that children with wheel chair cannot enter the library. (Eleri, 2002).


        The Government, school administrators, teacher libraries etc should formulate policies and implement them. These policies should ensure equal library services for both the normal children and the handicapped children. The public should be enlightened and educated to treat the handicapped persons with empathy and not sympathy. Teachers’ librarian and fellow student shouldn’t discriminate the handicapped persons.

        School libraries should be well funded so that the teacher librarian can purchase collection and technological tools that can assist the handicapped persons in the school library.


        The entire school library should have special education librarian who specializes in sign languages and the use of Braille machine and Braille books.

        The Architectural structure of the school library building and shelves should be accessible for the handicapped children.

        Teacher librarian should have a positive attitude towards the handicapped persons.

        Government, philanthropist, Non-Government agencies should assist the school libraries through adequate funding to enable them buy technological tools and library collections that can be access and utilized by the handicapped persons.

        Awareness and public enlightenment should be created o how to assist the handicapped persons.


        In every ability, there is a disability, there fore we must not discriminate the handicapped persons among us but rather we should strive to assist them Government should ensure that the provide equal educational /library service to all not withstanding the person handicapping condition. Facilities should be produced and provided empathy should be showed to them.


Eleri, No (2002). Barriers to the Education of the disable people in Nigerian. Jos: NECE.

Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Lagos: Federal Government Press.

Mishra M. P (2010). ICT as a tool for teaching and learning in respect of learner with disability. National open University  Journal. New Delhi: GNOU Press.

National Policy on Education (2004). Lagos: Federal Government  Press.

Obot, A. E. (2008). The challenge of educating the physically Handicapped Nigerian Child; strategies for counseling Intervention. The Researcher 3, (1) 163-167.

Okpala, M, C (2008). Reading habits among Nigerian  Pupils. Journal of library and information science. Digest (1): Onitsha Inosco Press P. 69-75.

Owobi, A. E. (2008). The Role of Information and Communication Technology in the Education of Children with Special Needs. Jos Journal of Education, 1 (1) 87-94.

Queen I. B. (2004) The Nigerian Child: Disseminating Information to the Nigerian Child. Uyo. Soul mate press and published Company.              

Raskined, M. (2000). Assistive technology for Children with learning   disabilities. California: San Mateo.