Accessible Library Services for Persons with Disabilities

The Ontario Public Library Association (OPLA), a division of OLA, launched a video project to support ongoing library staff training on serving people with disabilities and compliance with the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service under the AODA.

Staff Training Videos

Here are four short videos depicting common sense approaches to providing an accessible library service for people who have a disability. 

  • Assistive Technology in the Library
    In this scenario, a library customer who has vision loss would like to search the online catalogue using assistive technology. Included is a common sense approach to interacting with a person with a guide dog and getting started on an accessible library workstation.
    [link to video]
  • Understanding the Diversity of Library Customer Needs In this scenario, a library customer who has a perceptual disability is looking for job-hunt resources. Included is a tactful and common sense approach to recognizing that some patrons require different means of accessing information.
    [link to video]
  • Accessible Library Service for a Person who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing In this scenario, a library customer who is hard of hearing is looking for some great mystery novels. Included is a common sense approach to communicating effectively, and ensuring that the customer is aware of the accessible telephone options for reaching the library.
    [link to video]
  • Providing a Barrier Free Library Experience In this scenario, a library customer who uses a wheelchair is looking for yoga and gardening books. Included are tips for recognizing the role of an attendant, identifying simple solutions to a barrier free path, and how a customer can be part of creating your accessibility plan.
    [link to video]

About the project:

This project was produced with support from the Government of Ontario’s EnAbling Change Partnership Program. Under this program the Ontario government provides funding for strategic partnership projects with organizations that have the vision, leadership and commitment to make a significant impact on improving accessibility for people with disabilities across an industry or sector by promoting compliance with the AODA and accessibility standards.

The program is administered by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. OLA thanks the Accessibility Directorate for their contribution and support of this video project.



OLA wishes to thank the following people for their involvement:
The advisory committee:
Dorothy MacNaughton, Accessibility Advisor
Amanda Scriver, OLA Staff lead
Shelagh Paterson, OLA
Faline Bobier, CNIB Library
Mary Yannakis, Accessibility Directorate of Ontario
Alicia Edano, Accessibility Directorate of Ontario
Kelly Dermody, Ryerson University
Jill Nicholson, Lincoln Public Library
Beth Kinchlea, London Public Library

The film team:
OLA thanks recent film studies graduates for their commitment to this project:

From University of Toronto:
Kelsey Blair
Robert Maynard
From York University:
Claire Ward Beveridge
David Van Poppel

The actors:
The project enlisted real librarians and real library customers who were given a scenario to work from. We think they all deserve an academy award. Thank you to our fantastic actors!

The Library Settings:
OLA thanks Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, and Toronto Public Library for the use of their exemplary library settings for the video shoots.