The University of Maryland College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool) Principal Lecturer Dr. Renee Hill has been named a recipient of the prestigious 2020 Accessibility Inclusion Fellowship Award presented by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Through this award, Hill will work with the NFB to develop and enhance curriculum in the areas of accessibility, diversity, and inclusion at the iSchool.
The Accessibility Inclusion Fellowship is one of the many ways the NFB is supporting accessibility for blind and low-vision individuals. The NFB is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans – providing programs, services, and resources to defend the rights of blind Americans, foster independence, and ensure equal access to information, education, and employment.
Hill was selected for this fellowship and the important task of developing new and innovative accessibility curriculum based on her extensive and ongoing contributions to libraries and school systems to educate staff and students about accessibility, diversity, and inclusion practices, research, and opportunities.
At the iSchool, Hill is a beloved lecturer, director of the college’s School Library Specialization with the MLIS program, and has designed more than 20 unique, interactive courses that prepare graduate students to become Library and Information Studies (LIS) professionals who are knowledgeable about diversity issues within the LIS field, particularly around information access for underrepresented populations. Hill was the recipient of the prestigious 2018 Library Journal (LJ)/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes exemplary student-centered thinking, mentorship, and innovation in teaching the next generation of library and information professionals.
Outside of the classroom, Hill serves as the iSchool's Equity Administrator and Associate Diversity and Inclusion Officer, a role in which she works to promote diversity and inclusion in the college as a workplace, inclusive of hiring and personnel decisions and facilitating workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives and events. Her championship of accessibility, diversity, and inclusion has also led her to be a frequent trainer and speaker at libraries and information institutions to educate their teams about diversity and inclusion practices, research, and opportunities. Hill has also made significant contributions to LIS scholarship through a variety of works on how to make LIS education more inclusive and better able to meet the needs of diverse populations.