Common Framework for supporting disabled students

Libraries play a key role in supporting the learning, teaching and research objectives of the University of Oxford. Access to libraries and collections is essential for all members of the academic community and libraries are committed to providing an excellent library experience for disabled readers.

In the light of the Common Framework, libraries undertake to provide the following:

Disability Liaison Librarians and reader engagement

  • Libraries will promote an anticipatory approach to provision for disabled readers and will make reasonable adjustments to facilitate access. Where it is not possible to make physical adjustments, agreed arrangements will be put into place – e.g. book retrieval  for a reader who is unable to reach a shelf or in the case of sight impairment where there might be difficulties reading shelfmark labels or spine titles.
  • Each library has a member of staff who is responsible for providing support for disabled readers within the Library. Contact information as well as information on service provision for disabled readers will be available on the library’s webpages. For a comprehensive list of libraries in the University and contact details, please go to list of Libraries associated with the University of Oxford.
  • Libraries will actively engage with readers to establish links and create a responsive dialogue and inform service developments both via institutional bodies and from other forms of information gathering (e.g. survey). The Bodleian Libraries Disability Subcommittee has representatives from various university departments as well as representation from readers and Oxford Student Union’s Disabled Student’s Officer.
  • For additional information, please contact the Disability Librarian.

Service Provision

  • Library induction sessions for all students will include information on disability support, including contact information for staff supporting disabled readers and where to find more information on service provision.
  • Individual induction sessions are available for disabled students in all libraries.
  • Where available, readers will be given Privileged Reader status with special privileges such as longer loans or a higher number of books that can be borrowed.
  • All Libraries aim to stock a range of equipment for disabled readers such as hand-held magnifiers, book rests, coloured acetates and different coloured paper for reprographic work. Information on equipment available in the Bodleian. Libraries can be found in the University’s Access Guide. Contact details for college libraries are available at List of College Libraries.

Staff Training

  • Training on Disability Confidence is mandatory for library staff with reader-facing roles. Library staff are expected to be aware of the impact a disability may have on library experience as well as to have an understanding of the remit of the Disability Advisory Service (DAS).