Assistive technology for libraries

Assistive technology for libraries

Print disability

A woman shows another woman how to use a daisy playerA person who has a print disability is:

  • A person without sight, or whose sight is severely impaired.
  • A person unable to hold or manipulate books, or to focus or move his or her eyes (e.g., MS, stroke, severe arthritis).
  • A person with a perceptual disability (e.g., dyslexia, visual processing disorder).



Severe vision impairment is the most easily recognisable condition which gives rise to a print disability. Some other conditions which can give rise to a print disability include:

Assistive technologyA ppicture of a large button accessible computer keyboard

Assistive technology can aid a person with a print disability to access reading materials and other collection items in the library.

Assistive technology is often thought of as high-tech computer or electronic equipment that helps people with disabilities perform tasks independently. However, any item that helps an individual perform a task independently is an assistive technology – for example, a pair of glasses, which correct vision and assist a person to see more clearly.

Assistive technology can be low-tech and even homemade, such as a book rest to hold a book upright for a person who may have a physical impairment that disables them from holding a book in their hands.

Common assistive technology used for people with print disabilities may include daisy players, screen reading computer software, large print books, audio books, audio described DVDs, and book or tablet holders. .

Vision Australia has excellent information on its website about assistive technology that can be used in libraries or at home for people with print disabilities.


Vision Australia Technology Page

Vision Australia Digital Access Page