Western Libraries

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities: Customer Service Policy

August, 2009

1. Our Mission

Western Libraries is committed to excellence; anticipating information and service needs related to the University's goals for research and scholarship, teaching and learning, and service to our university community and key partners. Our staff engages the Western community in the development of new services, and continuously strives to exceed the expectations of our diverse user groups.

2. Our Commitment

It is the policy of Western Libraries that all service locations are committed to providing quality library services to each member of the Western community. Western Libraries will provide services, both electronically and in person, in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

Western Libraries shares the University's commitment to accessibility as stated in Engaging the Future, the University's Strategic Plan:

Diversity: as part of our commitment to excellence, we seek to recognize and remove the obstacles faced by traditionally under-represented groups in order to facilitate their access to and advancement at Western. We respect and celebrate the diversity of people who make up our community.

3. Providing Goods and Services to People with Disabilities

Western Libraries is committed to excellence in serving our diverse user community, including persons with disabilities, and we will carry out our service goals of anticipating information and service needs related to the University's goals for research and scholarship, teaching and learning in the following areas:

3.1 Communication

Western Libraries will communicate to people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.

We will train our service staff on how to interact and communicate with our diverse user community and people with various types of disabilities.

3.2 Telephone Services

Western Libraries is committed to providing fully accessible telephone service to all customers.

We will train Western Libraries staff to communicate with library users over the telephone in plain language and to speak clearly. We will also make our staff familiar with telephone technologies intended for people with disabilities.

3.3 Assistive Devices

Western Libraries is committed to serving people with diverse disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our library materials and services.

We will ensure that our service employees are trained in the use of the various assistive devices provided by Western Libraries, for customers with disabilities while accessing our library materials and services.

We will also ensure that employees know how to use available assistive devices intended for library patron use.

We will continue our relationship with the University of Western Ontario Services for Students with Disabilities to provide accessible services to our user community.

3.4 Billing

Western Libraries is committed to providing accessible library notices or invoices to all our customers. For this reason, library notices or invoices will be provided in alternative formats upon request.

3.5 Other

Alternative format texts are coordinated through the Services for Students with Disabilities Office. For more information about alternative format texts please visit the Services for Students with Disabilities website.

For assistance with the retrieval and/or photocopying of library material please contact the Service Desk of any library location.

For research assistance please contact the Service Desk of any library location. Persons seeking individualized reference assistance may also contact Bobby Glushko for an appointment to discuss their research needs.

When delivering instructional sessions, Western Libraries employees will take into account the diverse needs of people with disabilities.

4. Use of Service Animals and Support Persons

Service Animals

Persons with a disability may enter Western Libraries premises accompanied by a service animal and keep the animal with them, if the public has access to such premises, and the animal is not otherwise excluded by law. While visiting Western Libraries, it is the responsibility of the person with a service animal to control the animal at all times.

In the event a library staff member or library patron is allergic to animals, alternative arrangements will be negotiated.

Support Person

Persons with a disability may enter Western Libraries premises accompanied by a support person and may have access to that support person at all times.

Western Libraries may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on library premises, in situations where it is necessary to protect the health and safety of the person with a disability, or the health and safety of others on the library premises.

Consent from the person with a disability is required when communicating private issues related to the person with a disability, in the presence of a support person.

5. Notice of Temporary Disruption

Western Libraries will make reasonable effort to provide customers with notice in the event of a disruption in the facilities or services usually used by people with disabilities. This notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration, and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available. We will not be able to give adequate notice in case of an emergency temporary disruption.

In order to make information accessible the signs and printed notices should be clearly laid out, of sufficient size and easily readable.

The signs and printed notices will be displayed prominently at the entrance to each library, on notice-boards and at service desks.

6. Training for Staff

Western Libraries will ensure that all persons to whom this policy applies receive training as required by the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service. In addition, training will be provided to Western Libraries employees as part of orientation training for new employees, and on a continuing basis as required.

The amount and format of training will depend on the person's interaction with library users.

A record of training received by library staff will be kept in the Western Libraries Business Office.

Training will include:

7. Feedback Process

Western Libraries welcomes feedback, including feedback about the delivery of library services to persons with disabilities. Users can submit feedback to Bobby Glushko, the Associate Chief Librarian. Alternatively, users can submit feedback to any library employee, and it will be forwarded to the appropriate person.

Bobby Glushko, Associate Chief Librarian
Western Libraries
The University of Western Ontario
D.B. Weldon Library
London, Ontario N6A 3K7
Send an E-mail

Phone: 519-661-2111 x82740

8. Modifications to this or Other Policies

Western Libraries is an essential part of university life and works hard to break down the barriers facing disabled library users. Western Libraries is committed to developing customer service policies that respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. Therefore, no change will be made to this policy before considering the impact on people with disabilities. Any policy of Western Libraries that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

We undertake to consult regularly with University Committees/Commissioners for people with disabilities to provide, review and where possible improve our facilities or services for the disabled.

9. Questions About this Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework through which Western Libraries can achieve service excellence for people with disabilities. If anyone has questions about this policy, please contact:

Bobby Glushko, Associate Chief Librarian
Western Libraries
The University of Western Ontario
D.B. Weldon Library
London, Ontario N6A 3K7
Send an E-mail

Phone: 519-661-2111 x82740

If you are interested in knowing more about our guiding principles and related documents this policy is compliant with please see the following: