General Resources on Disabilities

Creator: National Library Service

Date Updated: October 21, 2021

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) from the Library of Congress created a list covering braille, devices, and general disability resources. Some of the resources are specific to American library services, but it contains some valuable guides on resources such as assistive technology, education, employment advice, and more.

We want to note that the terminology used on this site does not reflect the person-first language (for example, persons with disabilities vs. dyslexic) that we encourage you to use.

Quick Facts

  • NLS provides resources for people with print disabilities that cover braille, assistive technologies, and support organizations.
    • Information about braille includes an overview of the topic.
      • The braille alphabet is made up of six dots (configure like the number 6 on dice).
      • Each of the dots is numbered 1-6. The 1-3 numbered dots are on the left side of the six dots, and 4-6 are on the right side (top to bottom).
      • The dots are arranged differently for each letter of the alphabet. For example, “C” is two dots in the 1 and 4 numbered positions.
    • NLS provides information about devices and aids (assistive technologies) on downloadable pages.
      • There are multiple types of screen readers which read out the text on digital screens. Examples of different screen readers are Job Access with Speech (JAWS), Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) and built-in options like VoiceOver (Apple) and TalkBack (Android).
      • There are multiple braille reading and writing aids. For example, refreshable braille displays have small pins that move up and down through small holes representing the braille cell.
      • Magnification devices enlarge text on the screen for users with low vision.
    • The majority of the support organizations are based in the USA, but some great worldwide resources are available.
  • Disability awareness and education are important, whether teaching children about disabilities or helping people transition from high school to independent/university living.

Visit NLS: General Resources on Disabilities

References

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (n.d.). Resources. Web page. Retrieved from: https://www.loc.gov/nls/resources/

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (2020). Braille Information. Web page. Retrieved from: https://www.loc.gov/nls/resources/blindness-and-vision-impairment/braille-information/

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (n.d.). Deaf-Blindness. Web page. Retrieved from: https://www.loc.gov/nls/resources/deaf-blindness/

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (2021). Education. Web page. Retrieved from: https://www.loc.gov/nls/resources/education/

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (n.d.). Employment. Web page. Retrieved from: https://www.loc.gov/nls/resources/employment/

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (2021). Directory of Producers of Accessible Reading Materials. Web page. Retrieved from: https://www.loc.gov/nls/resources/custom-books-transcription-services/