Special Libraries

It’s important for all librarians to be aware of the specialized resources and services available to their patrons with disabilities.


Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Library for the Blind
The CNIB Library lends braille, tacticle, audio and electronic materials. It also maintains an extensive disability reference collection.

Disability Information Network South Australia (DINSA)
DINSA is a group of libraries, based in a variety of organizations, which serve people with disabilities and their families.

Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (EPVA) Library
The EPVA library provides information on spinal cord injury and disabilities rights to members, their families, staff, and SCI medical professionals

National Library of Canada (NLC)
NLC promotes equitable access to library and information resources to all Canadians. Its web page on Library Services to Persons with Disabilities includes links to the Canadian Union Catalogue of Alternative Format Materials (CANUC:H); Federal Government Publications Issued in Alternative Format, 1981-1996; List of Books Available in Large Print, 1996; and a downloadable version of the booklet, The Accessible Canadian Library II.

National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
NLS provides leisure reading in braille and audiotape by postage-free mail through a network of regional and subregional libraries (see below). It also maintains an extensive reference collection.

NLS Network Libraries – for links to regional and subregional libraries for the blind and physically handicapped

The Revised Library Standards for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 1995 includes information, guidelines and standards for libraries in the NLS network.

WebBLND – a searchable catalog of books available in alternative formats

National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)
A federally funded project, NARIC collects and disseminates the results of federally funded research projects. It also maintains a literature collection, which also includes commercially published books, journal articles, and audiovisuals, averages around 200 new documents per month.

New Zealand Disabilities Resource Centre
Collects and disseminates information for researchers.

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D)
Lends academic and professional textbooks on audio tape from elementary through post-graduate and professional levels. Maintains an online catalog.

Royal National Institute for Deaf People and University College London Library
The library covers all aspects of hearing, speech and language and specializes in literature on deafness – from academic journals, research reports and student textbooks to children’s books and novels with deaf characters.

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