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Accessible Services

Information about our Accessible Services and materials for patrons with print disabilities from the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA)

Print Disabilities

Adults and children with a print disability (visual impairment, learning disability or physical disability that prevents them using standard print), can access various collections at VPL. VPL has a collection of audiobooks that can be borrowed through Accessible Services or your preferred library branch or by mail or home delivery if eligible.

For more information about these services, contact Accessible Services at 604-331-4100.

Materials for Patrons with Print Disabilities

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Vancouver Public Library provides Vancouver residents with print/perceptual disabilities access to over 200,000 items in accessible formats, through the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA), including:

  • books and magazines in audio, e-text and Braille
  • newspapers in e-text
  • described videos
  • children’s picture books with Braille added (printbraille)

CELA’s collection includes books in English and French for all ages and interests, from preschoolers to adults, including classics, bestsellers, biographies, cookbooks, self-help books and more.

The CELA website can be found at: www.celalibrary.ca

If you are eligible to borrow from this collection, you can access materials in several ways, including:

  • Download books to your computer or mobile device, such as an iPhone.
  • Download books to a DAISY player over a wireless connection without using a computer.
  • Receive audio CDs, Braille or described movies by mail direct to your home.

How to Enroll and Use the Collection

If you are a Vancouver resident with a print/perceptual disability and would like to register to use the collection, or if you would like more information, contact VPL Accessible Services staff at 604-331-4100.

If you are eligible to use the collection, VPL staff will register you for a library card if you don’t have one already, and ask you about preferred reading formats and subjects and delivery preferences. The system can select books for you or you can choose your own books using an online system or by phone.

Eligibility guidelines

Access to the CELA collection is available only to people with perceptual disabilities as defined under the provisions of the Canadian Copyright Act. This includes the following:

  • Learning disability: an impairment relating to comprehension
  • Physical disability: the inability to hold or manipulate a book
  • Visual disability: severe or total impairment of sight or the inability to focus or move one’s eyes

The Copyright Act defines a perceptual disability as one that prevents or inhibits a person from reading a work in its original format. It does not apply to reading difficulties that result from low literacy levels or developmental disabilities.

Home Delivery

Home delivery of a variety of library materials is available to Vancouver residents of all ages who have an illness, injury or disability preventing them from visiting the library or carrying library materials, or who are unable to leave their home for a period of three months or longer. Accessible Services also provides library materials to care facilities and seniors’ residences.

james.bond@vpl.ca