People with a disability
The Library is committed to improving access for the one in five Australians, and more than one million Victorians, who are living with some form of the wide range of physical and mental conditions we call disabilities.
Barriers to access
People living with a disability frequently experience barriers that impact their access to opportunities in education, employment, health and wellbeing.
The Library’s existing services for people with a disability include individualised support; bookable courtesy wheelchairs; and a range of adaptive technologies, including audio loops for events and tours, which are available on request.
Our targeted research shows that improved access to, and within, the Library building is a critical priority for people with a disability. These accessibility issues have been a major consideration in our planning for the Vision 2020 building redevelopment. The redevelopment includes:
- new ramp access on La Trobe Street
- adjustable desks and seating
- low kiosks and information desks for wheelchair access
- kiosks offering easily adjustable font size for low-vision visitors
- adaptive technologies such as zoomtext, JAWS (Job Access with Speech) screen-reader software and Kurzweil readers, will be offered alongside general-use technology, so people with a disability no longer have to find a separate section of the Library.
The Library is committed to further exploring and implementing improved access for community events, such as providing AUSLAN interpretation, programming autism-friendly sessions for young learners and families, and supplying Feelix kits for low-vision or blind children. The Library worked with Arts Access to provide disability awareness training for staff, and to conduct an assessment of the quality of our services – particularly in our galleries and gallery tours – from the perspective of people with lived experience of disability. This assessment will form the basis of improvements to accessibility in our exhibitions spaces.
An accessible workplace
State Library Victoria provides a workplace that actively welcomes and values the unique contributions of all people. The Library is an equal opportunity employer and acts in accordance with our obligations under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. Disability awareness training for staff and volunteers is an ongoing priority.