Assistive Services

Perceptual disabilities (commonly known as “print disabilities”) include three broad categories of people who require accessible formats:

  • severe or total impairment of sight or hearing or the inability to focus or move one’s eyes,
  • the inability to hold or manipulate a book, or
  • an impairment relating to comprehension.

We offer a variety of service options to assist customers who require formats other than traditional print materials, or who need assistance accessing what we have to offer. These services include:

 Audiobooks

VIRL provides unabridged titles in a variety of listening formats.

Books on CD. A list of titles is available in our online catalogue.

Books on MP3. A list of titles is available in our online catalogue.

Downloadable Audiobooks. More detailed information is available on our eAudiobooks page

DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System)

DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) allows you to read an audio book the same way you would read a print book. You can read a book from start to finish by just pressing play, or you can skip from section to section, use bookmarks and look things up in the index.

VIRL has a collection of DAISY discs and Readers available for loan.

A list of DAISY disc titles are available here.

DAISY Readers, also called Victor Readers, are available to be borrowed at some branches. To place a request on DAISY Reader please contact your local branch or visit our online catalogue here.

DAISY Quick Start Guide

Home delivery services

This service is available for those with health or physical impairments that prevent them from visiting the library in person.

Friends of the customer, or a volunteer when available, will deliver the books.

There are extended loan periods and no late charges for home delivery customers. Ask staff about services in your area or about how you can volunteer.

Contact your local branch for further information.

Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA)

VIRL has partnered with the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA; formerly the CNIB library) to offer free accessible-format materials for those with print disabilities. Several formats are available: descriptive video, printed braille, ebraille digital audio, CDs, DAISY discs. CELA defines a print disability as having a self-identified a visual, physical or learning disability that inhibits reading conventional print.

To join CELA, please contact your local library branch.

To read more about CELA services, please download our CELA Members' FAQ.

National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

The National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) is a repository of content owned and sustained by Canadian public libraries, working with international partners, libraries, readers, and publishers (particularly Canadian ones) to make copies of books in accessible formats available to readers in Canada who have print disabilities.

To join NNELS, please contact your local library branch.

To read more about NNELS services, please visit their website at https://nnels.ca/ or call 1.888.848.9250, option #5.

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(877) 415.VIRL