Plan for Accessibility
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Kids of all abilities
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.
Make sure kids with print disabilities know they have access to a broad selection of titles. Sometimes all it takes is changing the format so the person can read the same books as other Club participants. 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 a text-to-speech reader. You may also offer formats specifically designed for accessibility. These may include DAISY audio or text, braille, printbraille (picture books with braille) or decodable books for readers with reading disabilities. 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 for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), or both. In Quebec, CELA service is offered through the Service québécois du livre adapté (SQLA). Please call SQLA at 1-866-410-0844 to register your eligible patrons.
CELA member libraries may download or borrow copies of books to have something for children to check out on the spot. Learn how libraries can access books for their patrons using their CELA accounts. Libraries may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Large Print Notebook
Display your large print notebooks, which contain key pre-reader and school-age content, as well as suggestions on how to adapt activities for kids with disabilities. Families should visit the Accessibility page of the TD Summer Reading Club website to find electronic versions of the notebook in e-text, audio and braille. Use the notebook to train staff and to raise awareness among your patrons that the Club is inclusive. Most importantly, give them out to families of children with print disabilities!
Adapted pre-reader notebook
Adapted school-age notebook
Some kids may have trouble playing the "find the image" games if they are only using the audio or braille notebook files. Please encourage families to access the PDF files or provide a printed copy of the notebook to help kids enjoy these activities.
Libraries may request additional copies (while supplies last) by contacting CELA at email@example.com.
Families of kids with print disabilities may not realize they can get the Club’s program materials and books in alternative formats—you need to show and tell them!
All libraries participating in the Club will receive accessible materials and outreach tools, including:
- four large print notebooks (two pre-reader and two school-age notebooks)
- a bilingual poster that says "Bounce Into Accessibility!"
Libraries will also have access to an information sheet to help staff make their TD Summer Reading Club accessible:
o Make Sure Your TD Summer Reading Club is Accessible! (PDF)
o Make Sure Your TD Summer Reading Club is Accessible! (Quebec) (PDF)
Tips for making your library's TD Summer Reading Club accessible
You can make your collections, programming and services inclusive to all families by always considering accessibility. When you include the needs of all clients who visit your website or walk through your doors, you create a welcoming space for everyone.
Here are some common accessibility guidelines:
- Be sure books and other items in your displays are accessible to people using mobility devices such as wheelchairs
- Promote audiobooks, ebooks and braille books alongside print books
- Make signage clear and easy to read by using larger font sizes, standard font types (not decorative) and high contrast text and background colours—for more information read CNIB's Clear Print Accessibility Guidelines
- Inform staff about the accessible notebooks and the needs of kids with print disabilities by using the library staff email template
- Connect with local groups who support kids with disabilities by using the community organizations email template
- Let schools know that your library offers downloadable audiobooks, ebooks and braille
- Include information about accessibility when training staff, summer students and/or volunteers by using this PowerPoint presentation.
Planning accessible programs
Think about accessibility when planning crafts, games and activities, and when you’re buying your supplies. A good guideline to help you get started is to remember the word “POD.”
- Offer instructions in larger fonts with pictures
- Promote events and activities in multiple formats, e.g. online, print newsletters, email and social media
- Include tactile craft options such as feathers, foam shapes and glitter glue
- Choose larger brushes, markers and crayons that are easier to grip for kids with physical challenges
- Think of the five senses when planning activities and include sound, touch and smells
Observe your audience
- Is someone leaning forward or squinting to see the story or activity?
- Is someone having trouble following the instructions given with the craft?
- Does anyone seem frustrated while trying to participate in the activity?
o If so, ask the child, family member or caregiver how you can help.
- Be flexible and provide options for participation (such as working in pairs or teams)
Describe visual elements
- Use words to describe events in a book that are only represented in the pictures
How can my library virtually support kids with print disabilities?
- Promote your library’s e-collections
- Update your website to include links to accessible format collections available to your clients through organizations such as CELA and NNELS
- Make your videos accessible by adding captions and audio descriptions
o Make your YouTube videos more accessible (AMI—Accessible Media Inc.)
o W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
- Describe any visual elements when doing storytimes, activities or crafts
For more information about print disabilities, CELA and training opportunities available for public library staff, visit celalibrary.ca.