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Accessibility

Durham County Library strives to create an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone can access our services and resources. These are some of the assistive technologies and accommodations we have available for you to use.

Available at all library locations

Audiobooks

You can check out audiobooks from any Durham County Library location or through OASIS. Check the library catalog, ask a librarian if you are in the building, or call your local branch to find out what is available.

You can also download audiobooks using your library card number and PIN. Browse all of our audiobook options in the library catalog.

Bookshare.org is available to qualifying students for free or with a membership fee for individuals.

Large print books

Available at many locations. Browse large print titles in the library catalog, ask a librarian if you are in the building, or call your local branch to find out what’s available.

IP Relay

All of our public computers can use IP Relay, which allows a deaf or hard-of-hearing user to place a phone call over the internet. You type in the phone number and what you would like to say, and the operator will communicate it to the person at the other end of the line.

Assistive listening devices

Assistive listening devices are available for use in meeting rooms at library locations. To ensure availability, please contact your location in advance.

Sensory support

Sensory spaces at Main Library

Multi Sensory Environment

The Multi Sensory Environment is a specialized space that lets you control and manipulate aspects of the world around you, including light, sound, smell, and touch. You can reserve a time to visit this space.

Sensory Calming Room

Our sensory room offers a relaxing and more private space to help calm you when you may feel overwhelmed. The space has been designed for anyone who would benefit from a designated place to help them feel at ease and calm in the library. It's open during Main Library's regular hours.

These Sensory Rooms were purchased and supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-19-0034-19).

Sensory aids at library locations

Each location has a selection of sensory aids that you can use on site. Ask at the info desk to get started.

Sensory kits for checkout

You can check out a sensory kit, which is a tote bag filled with things that can be used to help calm or stimulate a person’s sensory system to help with self-regulation. Each kit includes several different fidgets, a bumpy tactile ball, a gel bead shape, an infinity cube, child-size headphones, a mesh ball, a mini liquid timer, a pencil grip, a sequin snap bracelet, a soft bean bag, two squish strings, a string stretch ball, a tactile ball, and Play-Doh (you keep the Play-Doh!). To check out a kit, get in touch.

These Kits were purchased and supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-19-0034-19).

Assistive technology

To make sure that everyone can access our services and resources, we have a range of assistive technologies available to use.

Assistive technology kits

Available for in-library use at all locations. To get started, ask at the checkout desk.

BigKeys keyboard

Helps with typing for people with mobility and/or visual impairments. This multi-colored keyboard has bigger than normal keys to make it easier to see letters and select just one key at a time while typing at a computer. The multi-colored keys also provide high color contrast between different letters and keys.

BigKeys keyboard keyguard

Can be placed over the BigKeys keyboard to help in selecting only a single letter or key at a time.

Trackball mouse

This mouse is a handheld pointing device that requires little wrist or hand movement. You can control it with very limited finger movement. It can also be used to control an on-screen keyboard, available at every computer through Microsoft Office.

Keyboard type aid

Fits over your hand to help select keys on a keyboard or turn the pages of an open book.

Handheld video magnifier

Magnifies text and images, with the option of changing the color contrast for easy visual discernment based on your preferences. The magnifier can be held in your hand or placed on an open book.

Adaptive joystick

A handheld pointing device that requires limited hand movement, with different grips available based on your preference. It can also be used to control the on-screen keyboard, available at every computer through Microsoft Office.

Printable flyer about assistive technology kits (PDF)

The Assistive Technology Kits were purchased and supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-17-0034-17).

Assistive technology room at Main Library

To access the assistive technology room, stop by one of Main Library’s info desks.

BigKeys keyboard

Helps with typing for people with mobility and/or visual impairments. This multi-colored keyboard has bigger than normal keys to make it easier to see letters and select just one key at a time while typing at a computer. The multi-colored keys also provide high color contrast between different letters and keys.

Zoomtext screen enlargement and screen reader

Software that allows people who are visually impaired or completely blind to access the internet, send email, and use the Microsoft Office Suite.

BigKeys keyboard keyguard

Can be placed over the BigKeys keyboard to help in selecting only a single letter or key at a time.

Desktop magnifier

Magnify mail, a book, or anything else printed on paper up to 45 times its normal size.

Video relay services

Video relay services allow you to sign to an operator over the internet who will interpret to the person you are calling. We have reference computers that can accommodate your own webcam for this service.

Eye Can Fly Software

Games used with eye tracking hardware to help children learn to use eye tracking on a computer.

Kurzweil 3000

Software to help people who are blind or low vision use a Windows computer. Can also help people with dyslexia or other learning disabilities that make reading and writing difficult.

PCEye Plus Eye Tracking Hardware and Software

Lets you control a Windows computer with your eyes.

Assistive technology computer station at South Regional

Zoomtext screen enlargement and screen reader

Software that allows people who are visually impaired or completely blind to access the internet, send email, and use the Microsoft Office Suite.

Video relay services

Video relay services allow you to sign to an operator over the internet who will interpret to the person you are calling. We have reference computers that can accommodate your own webcam for this service.

More resources

We have Boardmaker software available for you to use. Design visual aids including Augmentative and Alternative Communication, picture schedules, choice boards, and much more!

Our Older Adult and Shut-In Service (OASIS) has services for people unable to visit the library due to age, illness, or physical disability. OASIS can also help you apply to use the NC Library for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.