Alternate format services

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Library alternate format services

Accessible Content E-Portal (ACE)

The Canadian Copyright Act permits alternate format copies of literary, dramatic, artistic, and musical works to be made only for people who have a print disability.

Scholars Portal is a service of the Ontario Council of University Libraries that provides access to the Accessible Content E-Portal (ACE). ACE is a growing repository of accessible format text available to users with print disabilities at participating institutions in Ontario.

Alternative formats for print materials held in our library collection include, colour and black and white PDFs, DAISY, ePub, and plain text.

Library users registered with AccessAbility Services with documented print disabilities should contact Library Accessibility Services via AskUs to receive an ACE token. An ACE token is an alphanumeric password unique to each person that allows a person to access and search for books that have been digitized and placed in ACE by their institution.

Once you have received an ACE token:

If the book you need is not available in ACE, contact Library Accessibility Services via AskUs to request digitization.

Adaptive technology 

Need e-text right away? The Adaptive Technology Centre study rooms have scanners and software for quick, do-it-yourself conversion, plus a CCTV video magnifier with OCR technology.

Library ebooks

The Library provides you with access to over 500,000 ebooks! See the eBooks @ UWaterloo guide to learn more, and visit the listing of free ebooks from our Waterloo Reads collection.

  • Many of our ebooks and journal articles are hosted by external publishers. The accessibility of their platforms varies from publisher to publisher. If you have any difficulty accessing materials from these databases, please contact the Ask us service for help.
  • Open University maintains a list of tips for databases with known accessibility issues for patrons using screen readers and keyboard navigation.

Library resources and services

The Accessible formats and communication supports webpage outlines how we will ensure persons with disabilities have equal opportunity and multiple options to discover and access all Library resources and services.


Visit the Accessibility Services website for information on how to request textbooks available in alternative formats, whether Braille, large print, or electronic files.

Off-campus alternate format services


If you have any questions concerns about the accessibility of library materials, let us know via Library Accessibility Services via AskUs.