Accessibility Plan

The ORL creates community by providing opportunities for people of all ages to connect with others and share their love of learning through our programs, workshops, and events. The ORL strives to ensure that everyone, regardless of age or background, feels welcome and included when they visit. Please read about how we met the requirements and follow the links to learn more.

Our Accessibility Plan highlights where we are right now, where we would like to improve, and outlines our prioritized focus areas for enhancing accessibility and inclusivity at the Okanagan Regional Library.

More details about our plan


Our Accessibility & Inclusion Advisory Committee (AIAC) met the requirements outlined in the Accessible BC Act and is made up of staff members and community members.  All participants in the committee have some kind of connection to disability.  They represent a wide range of disabilities and are also from different communities in the ORL service area. Our AIAC chose to stay anonymous in this plan.

The AIAC worked collaboratively with us to share their experience and assessments to improve ORL accessibility and inclusion. They have provided advice to the ORL Management Team on strategies to reduce social, physical, and sensory barriers that prevent people from fully participating in the services, programming, spaces, and collections of the ORL. The AIAC helped review the planned feedback tools and this accessibility plan. The future work of our AIAC will include:

  • Helping to prioritize responses to feedback,
  • Reviewing our progress annually, and
  • Advising us on the next Accessibility plan in 2026.

Please see our deliverables page for more details.


The ORL's initial accessibility work will focus on nine areas (our primary effort and quick wins) from our priority matrix:

  1. Accessibility of Programming:  identify and reduce accessibility barriers to programs and events. 
  2. Community Engagement: engage with individuals, their families and support networks, and our accessibility committee to ensure the disability community’s perspectives are considered in our accessibility initiatives.
  3. Programming Content: promote a culture of understanding, awareness, and inclusion by including accessibility in our projects, community events, and library programming.
  4. Safe Spaces:  review our basic emergency planning to ensure that accessibility has been included to ensure safe spaces for all, especially during emergencies.
  5. Signage: complete a sign audit in our branches looking at appropriate mapping and wayfinding to find washrooms, elevators, and service points.
  6. Website Accessibility: work to make sure our website is easy to use for everyone by following best practices for web accessibility.
  7. Improving Public Computers: improving our public computers to be accessible and useful to everyone.
  8. Quick Reference Guides: create guides, brochures, and quick tips for staff and patrons that will include information on accessibility services at the ORL, community information, and other accessibility topics.
  9. Website Organization: our new website is being organized to have information on library services, collections, and activities easy to find.

Please see our deliverables page for more details.


Our Accessibility & Inclusion Advisory Committee really emphasized the need to create multiple avenues for feedback so we have created:

  • Online Contact Us form – has been updated to include an “Accessibility” option.
  • Paper comment forms – are available in our branches.
  • A virtual extension – is being created for people that would prefer to leave a voicemail.
  • Mail – send mail to:
    Administration Centre
    1430 KLO Rd.
    Kelowna, BC   V1W 3P6

Please see our deliverables page for more details.


Our committee also helped us create and define words important in the area of accessibility work.  These are:

  • Accessibility: ensuring that everyone, including people with disabilities, can access and use something, like a building, a website, or information.
  • Assistive Technology: tools, devices, or software that help people with disabilities to perform tasks, increase their independence, or access information.
  • Barrier: anything that creates difficulties or obstacles for people with disabilities in accessing or using something.
  • Disability: a visible or invisible condition or impairment that may affect a person's physical, sensory, cognitive, or mental abilities.
  • Inclusion: involving and embracing all people, regardless of their abilities, backgrounds, or identities.
  • Plain Language: using clear and simple language that is easy for everyone to understand.
  • Print Disability: a disability that prevents a person from reading conventional print.
  • Universal Design: an approach that aims to create products, environments, and services that are usable and accessible to the widest range of people, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.
  • Web Accessibility: designing and developing websites and digital content in a way that can be used by people with a wide variety of accessible needs. 

Message from CEO

The Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) is committed to providing equitable access to library service to all residents of our service area. We recognize that everyone has different access needs, and we aspire to meet these needs in a welcoming and supportive environment. The ORL will develop and support a work and service environment where the needs of persons with different abilities are addressed in accordance with the principles of dignity, independence, equal opportunity, and integration. The ORL will strive to meet and exceed current accessibility standards. The ORL will establish, implement and monitor policies, services, and practices through this lens of accessibility.

Danielle Hubbard
Chief Executive Officer
Okanagan Regional Library