Commitment and responsibilities

  • The library is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities when discovering or accessing our resources and services.
  • The library is committed to providing access to print and electronic resources or promotional materials, supporting participation in face to face or online instructional activities, library events, surveys and online quizzes, and telephone interactions, and to providing access options for handling billing and receipts questions.
  • Alternate formats and other accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made clear in all communication about customer service activities within the library.
  • We are committed to training our staff to interact and communicate with persons with disabilities in a manner that they prefer for their particular type of disability.

Accessibility of public documents

The library is committed to providing accessible conversion ready electronic versions of all documents intended for the public. To ensure this service, instructions and training for creating conversion-ready documents (e.g. properly created Word and PDF documents) will be made available to staff.

Procedures

Event invitation/session registration

The library is committed to accommodating attendees and integrating persons with disabilities wherever possible. All public events registration should pro-actively enquire about needed accommodations for the event. Note: this includes outreach and instructional events.

Procedures

  • Events without food (e.g. speakers, book signings)
    • Include the following statement in print or electronic promotional materials, email confirmations and reminders:
    • The library is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact us in advance if you have any particular accommodation requirements (two weeks preferred). (userid@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. #####). The following sentence could be added when available space is a concern: as well, please advise us if a service animal or a support person will be accompanying you.
    • Note: In the invitation itself, the locations for
      wheelchair accessible entrances should be given.
  • Events with food (e.g., Friends of the Library Events, Open House)
    • The library is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact us in advance if you have any particular accommodation requirements (two weeks preferred). (userid@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. #####). The following sentence could be added when available space is a concern: as well, please advise us if a service animal or a support person will be accompanying you.
    • Please contact us by [give date] if you have any particular accessibility requirements or dietary restrictions (userid@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. #####).
    • Note: In the invitation itself, the locations for
      wheelchair accessible entrances should be given. 

Resources

Presentations

Procedures

  • Course-based sessions (liaison librarians)
    • Include the following statement in emails or communication with faculty:
    • The library is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have a student with disabilities in your class, please advise me of the accommodations he/she will need (two weeks preferred) (userid@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. #####).

Online events/tests/survey

The library is committed to offering multiple ways to provide access to online events, tests or surveys.

Procedures

  • Library hosted online service or product
    We will ensure the online event, test or survey is accessible or provide alternate formats or support for participation.
    • If the service/product does not have accessibility functionality then include the following statement to the front page of the survey or test, in particular, when actively recruiting respondents/participants.
    • The library is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. To arrange support with completing the online [component name] or for an alternate format, please contact [name or names with email address link and extension].
  • Commercial or non-library hosted online service or product
    When using commercial or non-library hosted online service or product for which we do not have control of interface and functions a statement indicating how to obtain alternate format or support will be included on the front page.
    • Include the following statement to the front page of the survey or test, in particular, when actively recruiting respondents/participants.
    • The library is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. To arrange support with completing the online [component name] or for an alternate format, please contact [name or names with email address link and extension].

Billing/receipts

Procedures

  • Include the following statement in any form of communications about billing and receipts:
    • We are committed to providing accessible invoices and receipts to all of our users. Invoices and receipts can be provided in the following additional formats upon request: large print; email or verbal explanation. We will answer any questions users may have about the content of the invoice in person, by telephone or email.

Telephone

The library is committed providing fully accessible telephone service to all library users.

We will train our staff to communicate with library users over the phone in plain language and to speak clearly. We will also make our staff familiar with available telephone technologies intended for people with disabilities, such as teletypewriters (TTYs) and the Bell Relay service.

How to interact

  • Speak to and look directly at the person with the disability, not to the person who may be with them.
  • Allow the person extra time to communicate.
  • Ask how the person communicates "Yes/No".
  • Write down things if necessary.
  • People with communication disabilities may communicate in ways other than speech.
  • These are referred to as augmentative and alternative communication systems (AAC), and can include gestures, vocalizations, letter boards and speech generating devices.
  • When meeting someone who is blind or has low-vision, introduce yourself when you start to speak.
  • Communication methods vary for each person who is deaf, deafened or hard-of-hearing.
    • Face the deaf person and speak normally but clearly.
    • Be prepared to repeat or re-phrase what you have said.

Resources