Accessible formats and communication supports policy

Revised:  November 2012

The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is committed to providing inclusive and barrier-free access to information, documentation, programs, and services. OPL shall, upon request, and in consultation with the person making the request, make available, in accessible formats to persons with disabilities, any public document created by the Library, including public emergency procedures, plans, and safety information.

Accessible formats and/or communication supports shall be provided in a timely manner, taking into account the person’s accessibility needs and at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons. Information about availability of accessible materials and communication supports will be made publicly available (e.g. posted on the OPL website, library posters, promotional materials, etc.). When requested, this information will be provided in appropriate accessible formats and/or with communication supports. OPL also provides assistive computer workstations and arranges for access to communication supports for library programming.

Customer requests for accessible formats and/or communication supports may be submitted:

  • In person:         at any OPL branch
  • By telephone:    InfoService (613-580-2940)
  • Online:              Disability Accommodation Request form
  • By email:          accessibility.office@biblioottawalibrary.ca

Accessible formats may include:

  • Braille (Grade 1 & 2)
  • Large print
  • Electronic text (e.g. PDF, Word, HTML)
  • Audio books (including DAISY)
  • Other

Communication supports may include:

  • Captioning
  • Sign language interpreter
  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Intervener
  • Assistive Workstations
  • Other

Assistive workstations are available at all OPL branches and they are identified as “ZoomText + Assistive” in the Online Booking System. The software installed on the workstation computers is regularly reviewed to ensure that it meets customer service needs.

Library programs, whether special or regular, are developed to engage the community, including persons with disabilities. Upon request and with sufficient notice, OPL will provide communication supports to assist individuals with disabilities to maximize participation in these programs. If advance notice is provided, admission costs for support persons are waived.

Conversion process / Turnaround time

Requests for accessible formats and communication supports will be done in the most cost-effective, efficient, and timely manner taking into consideration factors such as the media chosen, the size, complexity, quality of source documents, and number of documents to be converted. The cost of conversion for OPL documents, including producing materials and distribution, will be borne by OPL, not the requestor. OPL will make every attempt to respond to the request to the satisfaction of the individual with the disability.

The Library may be unable to provide accessible formats for products and product labels, unconvertible information or communications and information that OPL does not control directly or indirectly. If this occurs, the Library shall provide the requestor with:

  • an explanation as to why the information or communications are unconvertible; and,
  • a summary of the unconvertible information or communications.