Accessibility Resources

This section provides links to some external resources about library accessibility that library staff might find useful.

Alternate Education Resources Ontario (AERO)
AERO is a web-based digital repository operated by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The mandate of AERO is to provide alternate format text to students with perceptual disabilities who attend publicly funded educational institutions in Ontario. AERO enables students with perceptual disabilities to access educational materials in a format they require and in a timely manner.

ARL Web Accessibility Toolkit
This toolkit is here to:

PROMOTE the principles of accessibility, universal design, and digital inclusion.

HELP research libraries achieve digital accessibility.

CONNECT research libraries with the tools, people, and examples they need to provide accessible digital content.

CELA Services for Public Libraries
The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) makes it possible and easy for all public libraries in Canada to provide reading materials in accessible formats to patrons with print disabilities. CELA also provides training and support to help libraries deliver their accessible services effectively.

National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
Since its founding in 1986, the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), has had the mandate to support full access to education and employment for post-secondary students and graduates with disabilities across Canada. NEADS is a consumer-controlled, cross-disability charitable organization, which represents constituents through specific projects, resources, research, publications and partnerships. NEADS is governed by a national Board of Directors representative of all of the provinces and territories.

National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)
The National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) makes Canada’s vast collection of library books available to Canadians with a perceptual disability, otherwise known as a print disability. Ten percent of Canadians have a print disability – that’s an estimated 3.5 million Canadians. NNELS breaks down barriers to reading, with books available in DAISY, Digital Braille, MP3, and etext formats. People who have a vision impairment, are unable to hold a book, and/or have certain learning disabilities qualify for the NNELS service through public libraries. To learn more please contact your local public library or visit nnels.ca.

Resource Guide for Students with Disabilities – Transition to Post-Secondary Education
This guide is a way for students with disabilities to arm themselves with knowledge they need to access resources at college and university and to make a successful transition from secondary to post-secondary school. It is aimed to support students as they make the transition in two ways. The Resources section of the guide outlines important information about how students with disabilities are supported at post-secondary school. The information is general to all publicly funded colleges and universities in Ontario, is intended to help students and their families know what to expect as they prepare for the transition to post-secondary.

The Colleges and Universities sections provide more detailed information regarding the specific information and available services at post-secondary schools in Ontario. The information in this section has been compiled from websites and key personnel at post-secondary institutions, with links and contact information provided for students who would like more information on any item.

University of Guelph Accessibility Conference
The mission of the University of Guelph Accessibility Conference is to raise awareness (and encourage action) among educators, IT managers and providers, web managers and content providers, course designers, and individuals who create and disseminate information regarding: 1) Accessibility issues related to the use of information in a range of formats and settings; 2) Standards, tools and strategies for identifying and correcting information accessibility barriers; and 3) Strategies for incorporating the issue of accessibility into the real-world environment of competing interests and limited resources.

AODA Timeline

Below we have summarized the AODA compliance timeline applicable to Ontario university libraries. For more information on compliance requirements and how they apply to your institution, visit the AODA Compliance Wizard.

  • January 1, 2012
    • Emergency procedure, plans or public safety information
  • January 1, 2013
    • Educational and training resources and materials
    • Training to educators
    • Public libraries
  • January 1, 2014
  • January 1, 2015
    • Accessible formats and communication supports
    • Educational libraries – print-based resources
    • Producers of educational or training material – Textbooks
  • January 1, 2020
    • Educational libraries – multi-media/digital resources
    • Producers of educational or training material – Supplementary print materials
  • January 1, 2021
    • All internet websites and web content must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AAA (excluding live captioning and audio description)