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Do libraries have accessible services for people with disabilities?
Yes, your library has many different kinds of accessible services.
The number of options they have will depend on the size of the library, the population of your community and the region you live in. Services are usually free but may require you to register for them with your library card.
Libraries often have comfortable spaces where you can read, study or work. You may have to book a workspace or room if your library is very busy.
Accessibility at the Library
Public Libraries in Ontario are required to be compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and will meet those minimum requirements. However, there are other accessibility features at many libraries that may be available upon request. Items that you may be able to borrow or use while in your library branch are:
- Braille Writer
- CCTV - Print Magnifier and other magnification devices
- Computers with screen reader software like JAWS
- FM personal amplification system
- Large Print Keyboards
- Large trackball mouse
- Natural spectrum lamp
- Page Turner
- TTY Telephone
- Wheelchair Accessible Furniture
I am not able to visit a library
Many libraries in Ontario offer a Home Library Service. Each region has different eligibility criteria and scheduling or may only be available during winter months.
This is a short list of just a few regions that offer this service:
Another option may be a bookmobile or mobile library that brings resources to your neighbourhood or community if your area doesn’t have a working library. Some library branches are connected with hospitals and long-term care homes and can bring you resources directly, or at a meeting space.
Ask a Librarian
Most libraries have times during the day that you can work sit with a librarian or volunteer for a one-on-one to teach you how to use your electronic devices or how to use computer programs that help you with accessibility. For example, there are font settings in most devices that are good for people with low vision or learning disabilities.
Librarians and volunteers are usually trained to support people with disabilities and to inform everyone about what resources are available at their branch. If you are unsure about accessibility before you visit, you can always call or email your local branch.
For More Information
March 8, 2023