Accessibility Services

The ORL strives to support patrons with diverse needs through a variety of different collections, programs, and services.

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Print Disabled Memberships

Your library membership needs to have print disability status to access collections created especially for users with print disabilities.  The following forms are used to create this update:

Please complete the appropriate form and mail it back to access@orl.bc.ca so we can update your library record and get you started.

Programs

The Readers: Conversations about Books (Adults)

Come join our merry band of minds as we explore the world of books.

Are you looking to connect with other readers, learn about new books, or share your opinions? The Readers is a program to connect with others and discuss books and reading with fellow adult book lovers.  Each week starts with a question or theme and the conversation goes from there.  We are open to all kinds of readers – as any type of reading is reading!

The program is over the phone – no computer knowledge is required.  Register online or call 778-658-6394, or email access@orl.bc.ca to receive the conference line phone number and access code.

Tuesday afternoons from 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Here are some topics we’ve enjoyed discussing in the past:

  • What book would you like to be a character in?
  • What is one book you read that changed the way you see the world?
  • Poetry: Yay or Nay? What is one of your favourite poems/poets?
  • Could there be a sequel to a well-known book and how would it play out?
  • What makes a book a Classic?

Adult Story Time

Listen and Relax to a Story

Storytelling is core to the human experience.  When was the last time you could sit back, relax, and let someone else do the reading?  Join us for 30-40 minutes to listen to live readings of tales – humour, mystery, or science fiction.  A discussion of the story may follow.

Adult Story Time will take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 2:00pm – 3:00pm/

The program is over the phone – no computer knowledge is required.  Register online or call 778-658-6394, or email access@orl.bc.ca to receive the conference line phone number and access code.

American Sign Language (ASL) Programming

  • ASL Story Time - Join a Deaf storyteller and a children's librarian for stories, songs, rhymes, and crafts presented in both American Sign Language and English.
  • ASL Basics – Learn ASL from a Deaf Instructor.

Both are currently offered through Zoom – check our event calendar for more details.

In Branch Programming

  • The First Page Book Club
    • An all-inclusive book club, welcoming everyone regardless of reading ability and encouraging adults with diverse abilities to take part in discussions about new as well as classic titles. Books will be read together in a group setting with all participants invited to read aloud. Assistance with echo reading will be provided for those who wish to use it.
    • Contact the Kelowna Branch for more information.
  • Book Clubs
    • The library hosts many book clubs, and many titles are also available as audiobooks. Check out these various book clubs on our online calendar or our list of online book clubs.

Collections

Online

CELA

CELA (Centre for Equitable Library Access Collection) is a national non-profit organization that supports Canadians with print disabilities. These patrons can access media and reading materials in the format of their choice.After registering with CELA, you can download material to a home computer or device.

To register:

  1. Contact the ORL to check that your library membership allows print disabled materials.
  2. Complete the online registration on CELA’s website.

NOTE: Beyond titles from CELA, titles from the American service, Bookshare, are also available with a Proof of Disability form which requires a signature from a certifying professional.

NNELS

NNELS (National Network for Equitable Library Service) is a provincially funded online collection of digital books for readers with print disabilities, available at through the NNELS website.Once registered with NNELS, you will be able to download digital book formats including DAISY, MP3, eTEXT, PDF, and EPUB.

To register:

  1. Contact the ORL to check that your library membership allows print disabled materials.
  2. Complete the online registration on the NNELS website (click on “Sign-Up”).

eBooks and eAudiobooks

Both eBooks and eAudiobooks are available for download to a computer or portable device using a valid library card and PIN code.These can be borrowed for free through our ORL eBooks collection.

Libby App

Libby, used to access ORL eBooks, has now added the option to turn on Dyslexic font when you’re reading an eBook.  To make this change start by opening your book and then:

  1. Tap the “A” at the top of the screen to access the ‘Appearance’ menu.
  2. Scroll down the many options in the ‘Appearance’ menu.
  3. Tap on “Open Dyslexic” as the typeface.
  4. Pull the menu down to close.

For more information check out the help page from Libby. 

We encourage you to give it a try, you may find you prefer it too!

To read more about the Accessibility Features in Libby check out their Libby & Accessibility page.

Physical

Books for Children and Teens with Diversabilities or Additional Needs - see our booklists, created by our librarians, for parents and caretakers of children and teens with diversabilities or additional needs.

Accessible Formats

  • Large Print books can be borrowed by everyone with a library card. Titles include a wide choice of popular titles, fiction and non-fiction.
  • Audiobooks are full length recordings of popular fiction and non-fiction on multiple CDs that you can listen to on your computer (with a disk drive) or CD player. These books are available to anyone with a library card.
  • DAISY discs are audiobooks on a single CD.DAISY discs can be played on DAISY readers or any MP3 compatible CD Player (can play CDs with MP3 files).These books are available to readers with print disabilitiesContact us to apply for access to this collection.

Services

Print Disabled Memberships

Your library membership needs to have print disability status to access collections created especially for users with print disabilities.  The following forms are used to create this update:

Please complete the appropriate form and mail it back to access@orl.bc.ca so we can make the appropriate changes and get you started.

Selection Service

We love to connect with people to help improve their access to library services.  We focus on providing selection service for print disabled customers where we select physical materials specific to patron’s wants and get these requests to their local branch for pick-up.  Most print disabled customers either pick-up their material themselves or they have a family member or friend pick-up for them.

    Please contact Access Services for more information:

Accessible Borrowing

Extended loans are available to customers who are homebound temporarily or on a continued basis due to illness or other disability. An extended loan period of 42 days is applied to all eligible items borrowed. Some borrowing restrictions apply. Please inquire at your local library branch for further information.

In Branch Resources

Friendly staff at all library branches are available to help. Library branches strive to be accessible.  Some branches offer additional accessible equipment such as automatic doors, elevators, accessible bathrooms, walkers, wheelchairs, BlindSquare beacon, hearing loops, and a computer with ZoomText Magnifying software.

Some library branches partner with local organizations to provide home delivery of library materials to homebound customers. Please ask at your local library branch if home delivery is available in your community.

Information and Reference Services

  • COVID-19: Accessible Information is a page of alternative accessible formats of the charts and graphics that news sites, public health agencies, universities and other organizations are using to explain COVID-19 data in easy to understand ways. NNELS created these accessible versions so people with print disabilities or individuals with slower internet connections could access the same data. The alternate accessible formats include text descriptions and sonification (audio versions of graphs).
  • Diversability Service Provider Resource List is a list of service providers [PDF] in the Central, North, and South Okanagan regions, created by our librarians, for parents of children and teens.
  • Bookshare is an American site that allows access close to 500,000 titles free for people with print disabilities. Access Bookshare via CELA.
  • Librivox is a collection of free public domain audiobooks read by volunteers from around the world.
  • Project Gutenberg offers over 57,000 free eBooks from the world's great literature, with focus on older works for which copyright has expired. Thousands of volunteers digitized and diligently proofread the eBooks, for enjoyment and education. 

What is a print disability?

A print disability is defined in the Canadian Copyright Act and is a disability that limits a person from reading print in its original format due to:

  • a serious or total sight impairment or an inability to focus or move your eyes
  • the inability to hold or manipulate a book, or
  • an impairment relating to comprehension

Not sure if you qualify? Ask us.

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