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Facilities to help disabled users

The Library staff work closely with the Disability Service to ensure that our services present as few problems as possible to disabled users. In addition to considering ways of improving physical access, we have also introduced special services and equipment. We hope these will enable users to maximise their use of Information Services during their time at the University.

The Peace Garden on the University of Bradford campus

Physical access

The entrance to the JB Priestley Library is level and is fitted with automatically opening doors. Some of our facilities are in other buildings on campus, all of which have their own entrance ramps and internal lifts.

Access to the upper and lower floors in the Library is by lift or stairs; the operator panel in the lift is easily accessible and is labelled in Braille. Voice output indicates the floor level reached. The lifts in the Richmond Building (where PC cluster rooms and the staff IT training room are situated) are similarly equipped.

The enquiry desks in Careers and the JB Priestley Library have low-level sections which wheelchair users may find more convenient.

Computer terminals from which the Library's catalogue and self-service facilities can be accessed are situated on tables at both standing and sitting heights. In addition, there are two adjustable-height workstations on the ground floor.

Information and assistance

Assistance can be sought from the library enquiry desk in the JB Priestley Library. This may include physical help in making photocopies, locating and reaching books, using the catalogue or using specialised equipment, etc.

If your disability means you find it difficult to collect books from the shelves, you can make use of our Reserve and Collect service. We will fetch the books you need and place them at the library enquiry desk for you to collect, or a named person can collect them on your behalf. 

Please contact Disabled User Services for more information

In addition, your relevant Subject Librarian in the Library can help with finding information, using relevant electronic resources and so on. You may first need to make an appointment.


Information Services staff are continuing to ensure that its web site meets the requirement defined by the W3C. This concerns the accessibility of information and services provided via the web.

Photocopying can be done for you at the same cost as self-service copies, although you will probably have to collect copies later in the day. Urgent copies may sometimes be made at the self-service copiers with help from the Library staff when time permits.

One photocopier in the Library is permanently stocked with tinted paper. 

Documentation produced in the Library can be tailored to your individual needs, such as larger font size or differently coloured paper.

All borrowed items will be automatically renewed on the due date if possible.

PC clusters

All Information Services PC clusters have at least one machine with a larger screen for visually impaired users. All the computers have the standard Windows Accessibility features enabled. You can find more information about these features on the Microsoft® website. In addition, there are a number of useful software packages on our cluster PCs.

Reading eBooks out loud

How you access the 'read out loud' function on eBooks will depend on which platform the eBook is available on. 


These will have '' in the URL e.g. 

  1. Click read online
  2. In the next window, in the menu bar at the top, click on the ReadALoud icon. 


These will have 'ebookcentral' in the URL eg https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.brad...To use the Read online function you will need to change a setting in your profile: 
  1. Go to:  
  2. Log in with your University username and password.
  3. Under Accessibility mode click on Enable Accessibility Mode.  
  4. Tick the I agree to ProQuest's Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.  
  5. Click on Save changes.  
Once you have changed your profile settings you will be able to select Read online for books you want to access. 

Accessible content

Our members have access to SensusAccess which is a self-service means of converting documents into a range of formats, including audiobooks (MP3 and Daisy), eBooks (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi), and digital Braille. The software produces accessible documents from image-only PDFs, images and Microsoft PowerPoint slides. More than one JPEG can be combined into a single file.


Assistive technology

Some items of specialist equipment which users with disabilities may find helpful are available in the library. Examples are magnifying equipment, both black and white, and colour, which focus on and enlarge text, daylight reading lamps and TFT PC screens. Please ask the staff if you need assistance in using this equipment.

Service points and teaching areas in the library are fitted with a hearing loop.

The library building is wireless-enabled, should you wish to bring in your own laptop and software.

Personal safety

The University's Security staff are qualified First Aiders. Please report accidents or emergencies to Information Services or Security staff.

In case of fire the lifts in the JB Priestley Library should not be used. If you are in the Library and cannot use stairs unaided, you should wait for the Emergency Services in the lift lobby area of the main staircase, or in the Emergency Exit staircase in the Extension of the building. Both of these areas are designated Refuge Points. An E-Vac chair is available on the main staircase for carrying people downstairs quickly.

A Deaf Alerter system which works in conjunction with vibrating personal fire alarms has been installed on campus. Please refer to the University's Disability Officers.

The Disability Service staff can also arrange for you to have your own Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) drawn up, according to each campus building which you use.


You will find a fully accessible toilet on Floor 0 (ground floor) of the JB Priestley Library. The toilets on Floor 1 also have some accessibility features.


For further information, contact Disabled User Services in the JB Priestley Library. If you have further needs which are not met by the above provisions, these can then be discussed, although an appointment may sometimes be necessary.

Northern Collaboration Enabling Group

The University of Bradford Library is a member of the Northern Collaboration Enabling Group. This group was formed in March 2014 to facilitate a sharing of good practice for library staff who support disabled customers. More information about the Northern Collaboration Enabling Group can be found on their webpage