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Accessibility at the Patrick Power Library

For people with and without disabilities; a guide to accessibility at the Patrick Power Library, Saint Mary's University

Accessibility: The Basics

People with disabilities often need accommodations in order to successfully complete course work and participate fully in the labour market. This page will help you better understand the needs of your co-workers, students or friends with disabilities.

It is also helpful to have a broad understanding of some triumphs and challenges in the lives of people with disabilities. The Accessibility Legislation page within this guide will inform you about mandatory accessibility changes coming to Nova Scotia and Canada in the next several years. The Patrick Power Library Accessibility page in this guide contains eye-opening accessibility analyses of the Library's electronic resources.

The lists of accommodations in the above links are non-exhaustive. As such, here are some additional tips to make sure your student or colleague with disabilities has the accommodations they need to be successful:

  • Nobody will need all the accommodations in the above lists. Ask the person with disabilities what they need, or let them tell you.
  • Be flexible. Thoughtfully consider any ideas a person with disabilities has regarding their accommodations. If you do not understand why they need something, it is always best to ask for clarification.
  • If you are unsure or new to working with this person, keep open communications with them on a regular basis (E.G. once every two weeks) to make sure they have every accommodation they need. This is particularly important for professors, because students often suffer in silence.
  • If you have questions or need further assistance, please contact the Fred Smithers Centre of Support for Students with Disabilities. A link to their website can be found in the Saint Mary's University's Accessibility Supports section of this page.

Finally, it is important to accommodate for people with disabilities when hosting public events. The resources listed below are all similar, but each provides links to unique additional resources. If you are looking for a quick but comprehensive guide, the first link will best serve your needs.

Creating and Testing Accessible Documents and Web Content

People with disabilities use various assistive technologies to read and create documents in many formats, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF. However, these documents are not automatically formatted for maximal accessibility. Here are some resources to help you create accessible documents and test their level of accessibility.

People with disabilities use various assistive technologies to interact with websites. However, not all websites are made to be accessible. Here are some resources to help you create accessible websites and test their level of accessibility.

Saint Mary's University's Accessibility Supports

If you are overwhelmed by the prospect of providing accommodations, here are some services on campus that can help you.