What are accessibility barriers?

Five barriers to accessibility:

  1. Attitudinal
    • behaviours, perceptions, assumptions that discriminate against persons with disabilities (PWD), often emerging from lack of understanding leading people to ignore, judge, or have misconceptions about PWD
  2. Organizational or systemic
    • policies, procedures or practices, often put in place unintentionally, that unfairly discriminate and can prevent individuals from participating fully in situation
  3. Architectural or physical
    • elements of buildings or outdoor spaces such as design of building's stairs or doorways; room layout; hall and sidewalk width; that create barriers to PWDs
  4. Information or communications
    • sensory disabilities relating to both sending and receiving of information, such as hearing, seeing or learning disabilities, not considered
  5. Technological
    • device or technological platform not accessible to intended audience and cannot be used with assistive devices
      • often related to information and communications barriers

Our commitment

We will ensure that there are multiple options available for patrons to report library accessibility barriers, and that library staff and volunteers are trained on the five barriers to accessibility, and know what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing library services and/or resources.


  • If issue is not urgent:
  • If issue is urgent:
    • Staff/volunteer immediately visit LIB 241 or contact Kathy MacDonald
    • Patron visit or contact
      • Information desk:
        • Dana Porter Library at ext. 35763
        • Davis Centre Library at ext. 30560
      • Circulation desk
        • Dana Porter Library at ext. 84883
        • Davis Centre Library at ext. 36913
  • Library staff: 
    • gathers details on nature and urgency of barrier
    • contacts appropriate department with details
    • ensures department-specific barrier-removal procedures followed and barrier removed in timely manner
    • follows-up with person reporting barrier 
    • documents report