Staff Site

Plan For Accessibility

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What You Need to Know

Your community includes children who don’t read print due to physical, visual and learning disabilities. Learn more about print disabilities.

Not all print disabilities will be obvious and their effects vary. Children with print disabilities may not identify themselves to staff when they visit your library. That’s why it’s important to plan for accessibility. There are many books, club materials and other resources that you can share with children with print disabilities so they can participate fully in the TD Summer Reading Club.

Books

Make sure kids with print disabilities know they have access to a broad selection of books. You probably have books that they may be able to read. Someone with low vision may be able to read a regular print book using a magnifier; someone with dyslexia may read a regular ebook using text to speech. You may also offer formats specifically designed for accessibility such as DAISY audio or text, braille and printbraille picture books. Learn more about making reading accessible.

Depending on your location, your library may provide access to these books through the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) or the National Network of Equitable Library Service (NNELS), or both. In Quebec CELA service is offered through the Service québecois du livre adapté (SQLA). Please call SQLA at 1-866-410-0844 to register your eligible patrons.

Available for download or by mail through CELA:

CELA member libraries may also request mini-deposit collections of DAISY audio books on CD so that you have something for children to check out on the spot. Contact members@celalibrary.ca for more information.

Books available for download from NNELS.

Promote Accessibility

Families of kids with print disabilities may not realize they can get program materials and books for the Club in alternative formats—unless you show and tell them!

This year's poster features an owl listening to an audiobook and spells out that the Club is for "kids of all abilities." This is a great conversation-starter, no matter who you’re talking to—remember, print disabilities may not be apparent at first glance.

All libraries participating in the TD Summer Reading club will receive accessible materials, including notebooks and postcards, to support outreach efforts in branches, schools and elsewhere in the community. Libraries will also receive one copy of the book It Can’t Be True! in braille and print to keep and circulate at your library.

Be sure your displays and presentations are accessible. Promote audio books, e-books and printbraille books alongside print books. Make signage clear and easy to read. Make books easy to reach for people using wheelchairs.

The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) offers additional outreach templates, training and tips for connecting with organizations and welcoming families of kids with print disabilities.

Accessible Notebook 

Look out for the Accessible Notebook, which contains key content from the Club notebooks in large print, e-text, audio and braille. All libraries participating in TD Summer Reading Club will receive one English copy by early May. Use them in staff training and to raise awareness among your patrons that the Club is accessible. Most importantly, give them out to families of children with print disabilities!

Accessible Notebook - Large Print Text (.pdf) 

Accessible Notebook in Open Dyslexic font (.pdf)

Accessible Notebook - Braille (.brf) 

Accessible Notebook - Audio (.mp3) 

Libraries may request additional English copies (while supplies last) by contacting members@celalibrary.ca.

Tips for Offering Accessible Programs

Think about accessibility when planning crafts, games and activities and when you’re buying your supplies. 

  • Supplies: include tactile options such as feathers, foam shapes and glitter glue. Choose larger, easier to grip brushes, markers and crayons for kids with physical challenges.
  • Cool sounds and textures are popular with all children.
  • Don’t assume everyone can read printed instructions.
  • Use your words to describe what’s going on in group settings for participants with low vision.
  • Be flexible and provide options for participation (such as working in pairs or teams).
  • Parents and caregivers may also be able to provide you with tips for how to adapt activities for their child.

Further Assistance

For more information about print disabilities, CELA and training opportunities available for public library staff, visit celalibrary.ca.