About Accessible Libraries.ca

The Public Library Resource Centre (PLARC) project is a collaboration co-led by the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA), in partnership with eBOUND.

We would like to thank our funding partner, the Government of Canada Department of Canadian Heritage, through the Canada Book Fund. Without their support, this project would not be possible.

Our aim is to create a consolidated nationwide Accessible Library Resource website focused on awareness and training for library staff so that they understand the importance of accessibility in digital books, and the interfaces that are used to find them. 

This website provides accessibility and training resources to ensure that public libraries include accessibility in all aspects of their workflow, including procurement and acquisitions, cataloguing, staff training and awareness, information technology, outreach and home services, and public services for patrons.

Curated Accessibility Resources

The curated accessibility resources link to external sites that are considered and provide trusted information on accessibility. These resources include guidelines and best practices that will help libraries create an accessible environment and serve patrons with disabilities.

The resources are categorized by subject matter and library roles so that you can find the information that is most helpful to you as quickly as possible. The categories are continually developed, so if you think that were are missing a term, contact us!

To make sure the resources on the website are of good quality, they were passed through an assessment matrix, which was developed to objectively rate the resources. This makes it easier to sort through and find the best resources for any particular subject.

The matrix is composed of 8 criteria, which are all graded on a scale of 1 to 4, leaving resources with a total possible score out of 32. The options in the matrix include:

  • Date of Creation
  • Local Relevance
  • Library Relevance
  • Cost
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose
  • Technicality/Readability

If an accessibility resource is available on the website, it was passed through this matrix and received a score of 20 or higher. More accessibility resources will be added to the website as it develops.

Training Resources

The training resources in this website were developed through research and consultations with library experts. Currently, the resources available expand on general accessibility information, providing a foundation for public library staff to build upon. We call these training resources “Accessibility 101.” These are expert resources about accessibility in libraries as people with print disabilities created them.

The “Accessibility 101” training guide is made up of multiple training resources, including general information about accessibility and disabilities. They teach public library staff the small steps they can take to make their library more accessible. More training resources will be added to the website as the project continues.

Website Language

The terminology and definitions used throughout the website can be referred to in this section if/when necessary.

As outlined in the Accessible Publishing Research Project by the Association of Canadian Publishers et al. (2020), there are two language types often used:

  1. person-first language,
  2. and identity-first language.

Person-first language puts the person before the disability and emphasizes their humanity and individuality before specifying their disability (e.g., people with print disabilities). On the other hand, identity-first language defines people by their disability by placing the disability before them (e.g., print disabled persons). This language dehumanizes some, though it is important to note that many people consider their disabilities a positive part of who they are and prefer identity-first language to highlight their membership in a particular disability group. We respect the decisions of all groups about the type of language they prefer. However, for this website, we have chosen to use the person-first language (also used by the government of Canada).

Licensing Information

The content of this website is produced by the Public Library Resources Centre (PLARC) team. All PLARC original materials fall under the Creative Commons with Attribution-ShareAlike license.