Accessible Resources, Spaces and Services

The University of Alberta Libraries is committed to providing a positive library experience to patrons with disabilities, in collaboration with the University’s Accessibility Resources office. Alternate formats of course-related materials may be provided by Accessibility Resources for individuals who are registered with their office.

Accessing Libraries and Library Materials

  • hold button exampleThe UofA Libraries include multiple locations, and individual Library Location pages provide location and contact information.
  • You can place a request for books and other physical materials to be retrieved for you using the ‘Place Hold’ function in the library catalogue, or you can Ask Us for assistance.

Accessibility Software

  • The University of Alberta Libraries has an e-preferred collection policy, and a large proportion of library resources, including books and journals, are available only in online formats.
  • All library locations provide access to Windows workstations with the following software installed:
    • ZoomText: screen magnification software with text-to-speechJaw software logo
    • Kurzweil 3000: text-to-speech software
    • JAWS: text-to-speech software
  • JAWS is also installed on the Windows laptops that are available for borrowing from our libraries.
  • The Mac workstations available in some of our libraries are equipped with proprietary accessibility features.

HathiTrust Digital Library

  • HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research institutions offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
  • UofA students who have a print disability and are registered with Accessibility Resources can receive special access to full-text, digital copies of in-copyright materials found in the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Steps for Students to Request HathiTrust Materials


Access to the Internet Archive Collections for users with Print Disabilities

The Internet Archive includes a very large collection (more than 1.9 million) of in-copyright books that can be borrowed online by users with a perceptual disability. The University of Alberta is registered as a “qualifying authority” and can grant access to this collection for its users. https://archive.org/details/printdisabled?sort=-reviewdate . This collection includes many titles not visible to other Internet Archive users, and authorized users do not need to join a waitlist to view any of the items.

Steps to become an Authorized User of the Internet Archives


Additional Services for Users with Visual Disabilities

Edmonton Public Library provides a range of special services and adaptive technologies to support people with visual disabilities, including large print books, DAISY books, and descriptive videos/DVDs with added narration for people with visual disabilities.

As a public library, they also provide access to the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA), a service that provides reading materials in accessible formats to people with print disabilities.