In accordance with federal and state law, the Library offers accommodation to the needs of patrons who are accessibility-challenged by the Library’s physical layout. We encourage patrons to contact the Office of Accessibility Services to register your defined disability with them and utilize their services, including specially-equipped computers and other accessibility devices.
There is also the CUNY office of Disability Resources which publishes Reasonable Accomodations: A Faculty Guide to Teaching Students with Disabilities and the CCSD (CUNY coalition for Students with Disabilities) which offers peer-support to the CUNY community.
Other resources include the National Disabilities Rights Network, United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division Information and Technical Assistance on the ADA, and the United States Department of Education, Laws and Guidance on Disability Discrimination. Here is the text of the ADA Statute (revised in 2008), and information on the 1999 Olmstead Decision (OLMSTEAD v. L. C. 527 U.S. 581). There was a conference on the 15th anniversary of the Olmstead decision at John Jay in 2014 and you can submit your own stories at I am Olmstead.
Library Accessibility Services
Patrons should feel free to ask at the Reference Desk or contact us in advance when accommodations are needed—for example, for the physical retrieval of books from our shelves, photocopying, scanning, or individual research assistance in a non-distracted environment. Every effort will be made by the Library to meet such requests expeditiously. A telephone consultation via TTY for hearing or speech impared patrons can also be arranged.
For accommodation requests and to make an appointment to learn about our accessibility services, please contact our Access Services Library Liaison, Ellen Belcher (email@example.com or 212-237-8238), or contact the Reference Desk.
We also encourage using reference assistance by email, (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone at (212) 237-8246, text (SMS), Chat or in person as well as attending our drop- in workshops or making individual appointments with a Reference Librarian for assistance with all of your research and library needs.
Physical Access to the Library
For elevator access between the Haaren Hall lobby and the floors within the Library, please ask the Circulation Desk, the Reference Desk, or the 10th Avenue Public Safety desk for assistance. Assistance may also be available from the Office of Accessibility Services.
Elevator access between the floors within the Library does not require Library or Public Safety staff intervention.
If you are arranging a pick-up or drop-off, use these addresses for your transportation:
- 524 West 59th street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) Map
- 860 11th avenue (between West 58th & West 59th streets) Map
Assistive Technology Available in the Library
A special computer workstation is available on the second floor of the Library that gives priority of use to accessibility-challenged Library patrons. Please ask at the Reference Desk for access to this workstation, which is equipped with an adjustable-height table and a computer with the following assistive technologies:
- JAWS screen reading software
- Zoom Text screen reading and enlarging
- Dragon Naturally Speaking speech and imaging software
Follow the links above to tutorials for each of these programs
The Library also has an old VTek Voyager XL that still works for enlarging text to any size 4x-60x using a CCTV. More advanced Kurzweil reading software and hardware is available at the Accessibility Office. We recommend taking books out of the Library and using their machines for reading enlarged text.