Accessibility for Users with Disabilities, Customer Service Response

Purpose Statement


London Public Library strengthens people and neighbourhoods by creating connections that enrich lives, inspire discovery, foster creativity and expand possibilities.




We understand the diversity of the communities we serve and provide responsive Library services and outreach to meet unique community needs.

We facilitate accessibility through the recognition, removal and prevention of obstacles for individuals with disabilities.

Definition of Disability


Our definition of disability is: any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, including diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide or service dog or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,

  • an intellectual development disability
  • a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
  • a mental disorder, or
  • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan

Established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.


Guiding Principles


Our shared values apply to all members of the community including people with disabilities.

A person with a disability has the right to expect service excellence in all aspects of our service delivery in the areas of literacy, knowledge for living, well-being and building.


Policies, Practices and Procedures


Opportunity: Ability to access the Policies of London Public Library, generally, and the Accessibility Policy, in particular.

  • A copy of the Policy is available to the public via the web site.
  • Upon request, staff will print a copy of the policy for the customer.
  • Practices and procedures to support the use of the Library by persons with disabilities are noted on the web site and in this document.


Communication with Staff


Opportunity: Ability to communicate verbally with staff while in the location

  •     staff is trained to provide service using the Libraries for All communication boards, developed in conjunction with the Thames Valley Children’s Centre for users of AAC. These boards are available in every location or may be printed from the web site.

Decals with the Libraries for All logo are visible at all helpdesks.

Opportunity: Dignity and independence of persons with disabilities; service provision that takes into account the person’s disability

  • regular staff training is provided in abilities awareness.
  • As a matter of policy, new services are developed keeping in mind persons with disabilities and their access to the service.
  • Facilities are designed and upgraded with a view to ensuring FADS standards are met or exceeded.

Use of Service Animals


Opportunity: Ability to bring a service animal into any location

The use of service animals is supported by the Library’s Charter of Library Use – Rules of Conduct. A copy of this is posted in every location; upon request, staff will print a copy for the public. Service animals are welcome in programs, where practicable.


Feedback from the Public


Opportunity: Ability to provide feedback to the library related to goods, services, and facilities.

  • The Library accepts feedback:
    • In person. Any staff member will accept feedback from a customer and will refer to a Supervisor, if requested.
    • In writing. Comment cards are available at all helpdesks in all locations. The card may be given to a staff member or may be added to the box designated for that purpose.
    • Use the Contact link (via the web site) to give us your feedback online
    • By telephone. 519-661-4600.
    • By TTY. 519-432-8835.
  • Feedback, including complaints, may be received and responded to in any accessible formats and communication supports. Feedback is referred to the Supervisor of a location, or to a Manager, Customer Service and Branch Operations, who will respond within three (3) business days. Responses are generally returned in the format in which they were received, i.e., emails will be returned by email, in person feedback given by telephone, etc. The feedback process is available to any person upon request.


Disruption of Services


Opportunity: Notification and Provision of Alternatives

  • In the event the disruption relates to the Facility, e.g., an elevator out of service, the staff will post a notice on the door that the service is temporarily unavailable, and whatever information we have related to when it will resume. If it is possible to provide a customer service solution, e.g., having a staff person obtain materials from another floor, staff will offer this alternative to the customer.
  • In the event the disruption is to an assistive device or software, staff will provide the customer with information relating to alternative resources within the City of London. This information will be in the form of a brochure or will be delivered in person if the written format is not appropriate.
  • Notice will also be given on the web site.


Staff Training


Opportunity: Provision of goods and services to persons with disabilities

  • Staff are provided training in the following areas:
    • Purposes of the Act. All staff receive an overview of the Act and its regulations.
    • How to Interact and communicate with persons with disabilities. Training is providede to promote empathy and an understanding of barriers experienced by persons with disabilities.
    •  Use of adaptive technology. Any staff member directly involved in supporting patrons to use assistive technology is trained in its use. Staff are trained to make relevant referrals to resources and services in the broader community.
    • Tracking. Training is monitored and recorded by the Manager, Training and Development.

Notification of Availability of Documents


Opportunity: Ability to access documents related to services

  • Staff will print a copy of the document from the website upon request.
  • If the person is unable to use a printed copy, staff will provide the customer with an audio version.
  • The document is available from the web site in both written and audio formats.


Core Services:  Lending


Opportunity: Ability to sign a Borrower’s Card

  • Staff will facilitate the registration process for patrons with physical disabilities.

Opportunity: Receipt of Courtesy Notices

  • Customers may receive notices by email (written) or telephone (audio) message. In the event that these formats are not working, staff are available to answer any questions about a customer’s record by email (via the web site) or by phone.

Opportunity: Ability to Use a Public Library to Borrow Materials

  • Customers who are unable to visit a location to use library services may contact Visiting Library Service via email ( or by phone (519-661-6444, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday). Visiting Library offers a selection of appropriate materials, delivered to the home.


Core Services: Collections


Opportunity: Need for multiple formats

  • Staff are provided training in the recommendation and use of multiple formats for customers:
    • Large print books and magazines
    • Audiobooks (CD, Cassette, MP3) for adults and children
    • Books in Braille for children
    • CNIB Talking books, Daisy books and CELA
    • Closed-captioned DVDs
    • Described DVDs
    • eBooks (for those who cannot hold a book)
    • Electronic newspapers
    • Streamed and downloadable music and audiobooks
    • Streamed films
  • Information about these formats and how to access them is available on the web site at: /node/219.
  • Staff can recommend the appropriate format upon request. Please note: not all titles are available in all formats.


Core Services: Reference, Referral and Readers’ Services

Opportunity: Ability to Verbalize Requests to Staff

  • Library settlement workers (at Sherwood, Jalna, Beacock and Bostwick) may assist in languages other than English.
  • Staff are trained in the use of Libraries for All communication boards to facilitate communication with a customer whose ability to speak is limited.

Opportunity: Matching formats to requests

  • Staff are trained to offer the most appropriate format for the use of the customer and to recommend alternative formats as they may be useful, e.g., described videos for someone with limited visual capacity.

Opportunity: Access to the Full Collection

  • If the format is unavailable at one location, staff will utilize the transfer system to bring it into the desired location.

Opportunity: Ability to read spine labels and signage

  • Staff are trained to take the customer to the desired location and provide support in reading titles and indexes. Staff will ensure the material meets the customer’s need.

Opportunity: Ability to process information

  • Staff are trained to make an assessment of the appropriateness of material for the customer’s use. This includes assessing the level of difficulty and whether or not the customer is comfortable with the format provided.

Opportunity: Ability to use a public library to access information

  • Information resources are available remotely via the web site and by telephone; programs are offered throughout the system in the use of these resources.


Core Service: Technology Services


Opportunity: Need for assistive technology

  • Every branch has an accessible workstation which has an icon giving the user access to all the Accessibility features available through Windows: Magnifier, Narrator, display adjustments and keyboard and mouse adjustments to ensure the best possible experience for the customer when using library workstations.
  • Every branch has NVDA (screen reader) on its workstation
  • Assistive Technology is available to some degree in every location. At Central:
    • JAWS 15.0 - reads onscreen text aloud
    • Kurzweil 1000 v.13 - converts scanned text into speech and reads it aloud
    • VERA (Very Easy Reading Appliance) - this device scans and reads documents without the use of a computer
    • ALVA refreshable Braille display - converts text off the screen into a Braille display
    • ET Braille printer - embosses Braille onto card stock paper in a variety of formats
    • ZoomText 10 - computer screen magnification software (all Library locations)
    • Optilec Clear View series - high quality magnifiers of print, available in black and white, and colour displays
    • NVDA - screen reader
    • For those requiring audio supports:
    • Assistive Listening Systems for the hard of hearing are available for programs in Meeting Rooms at the Central Library and at branches. Please inquire through the Wolf Performance Hall and Meeting Space Rental Unit by calling 519-661-5120.

For those requiring visual supports:

  • Volunteer Adaptive Technology Tutors provide one-on-one assistance for people with disabilities attending library programs, events or using Assistive Technology software. Book an appointment by calling 519-661-4600 or contacting the library via the Contact link on the web site.
  • When the technology is unavailable because of maintenance or damage, signage will be posted with alternative points of access in the city of London.

Opportunity: Ability to access information from the web site using a screen reader

  • Information on web site will be developed in a format which may be processed by standard screen reader technology.

Opportunity: Ability to receive audio instruction in the use of library resources

  • Audio tutorials may be found on the web site for the use of the catalogue and other library resources, such as subscription databases.


Core Service: Programming and Community Outreach


Opportunity: Ability of children to participate in book-based programs

  • In partnership with Thames Valley Children’s Centre, adaptive story times are offered in some locations.
  • Storyhours are offered periodically in languages other than English.

Opportunity: Ability to use spaces for programs or rentals

  • LPL makes every effort to comply with or exceed FADS standards; spaces are accessible for persons with disabilities.
  • The Wolf Performance Hall provides railings and wheelchair spaces for customers with disabilities.
  • Staff are trained to consider the needs of all patrons when planning programs.

Opportunity: Use of service animals and support persons in programs

  • Persons with disabilities may register for library programs online through the library catalogue; a note feature allows the person to indicate his need to have a service animal or support person present. No charge will be made for a support person in the event there is a registration fee for a library-sponsored event.

Opportunity: Knowledge of library programs and services

  • LPL staff regularly meet with community partners and visit other organizations to provide information about library services and programs. Any organization wishing a visit is welcome to contact the Adult Services Department at the Central Library, 519 661-5122.