Accessibility and Disability Services

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The Libraries is committed to providing all SU students, faculty and staff equitable access to the resources and services you require for your academic and research needs.

Resources, Services and Additional Information

Syracuse University's varied services accommodate individuals with disabilities and recognize their potential to excel in both educational and career opportunities. The University is committed to providing an accessible campus environment through its facilities and digital presence, including its websites, online communications and technology. If you have a question or concern regarding accessibility, we welcome you to report any concerns about accessibility at SU.

For information on campus resources, see the Accessible Syracuse website.

For bus information, visit the CENTRO website. For parking information, visit SU's parking and transportation services website.

  • Computer workstations in all library buildings offer the campus desktop, which includes Window-Eyes, Read & Write Gold and Microsoft Accessibility Software. Library machines also have JAWS.
  • The Joel and Barbara Zelnick Assistive Technology Room 123, on the first floor of Bird Library near the Waverly Avenue entrance, has three computer workstations and a station for the DaVinci Pro camera. Features of the software and equipment in this room include:
    • Kurzweil 3000 Learnstation software
    • Kurzweil 1000
      • Scans and speaks text aloud with a choice of natural-sounding voices
      • Supports document creation and editing
      • Supports note taking, summarizing and outlining of text
      • Includes 18 bilingual dictionaries
      • Kurzweil support and how-to guides
    • PEARL Portable Reading Camera (borrow at the 1st floor Check Out Desk)
      • After borrowing the PEARL, users can bring it to the Assistive Technology Room and plug it into the USB port at the second workstation on the right, which is preloaded with OpenBook scanning and reading software
      • Scans 20 pages per minute while reading
      • Has built-in LED lighting for dim settings
      • Allows adding of comments and highlighting
      • Export to Word or Notepad
      • Options for fonts, colors, voice, and reading rate
      • Will snap an image and begin reading again whenever a page is turned
      • If help is needed with set up, please inform staff at the Checkout Desk
    • DaVinci Pro HD/OCR (Enhanced Vision)
      • Auto focus camera for self-viewing, reading or distance viewing
      • Magnification up to 77x
      • 24” high resolution HD LCD monitor
      • 28 viewing modes to optimize contrast and brightness
      • Full page OCR, users can just listen or follow along as it reads aloud
      • User tips and instruction video from Enhanced Vision
    • LOC talking books cassette player
      • For older specially-formatted talking book cassettes.
  • Borrow Laptops and Gear lists all the technology items available to borrow from the 1st floor Check Out Desk in Bird Library.
  • Captioning is available for many of the subscription video content packages.

Qualifying individuals can request alternate formats of library owned or licensed materials or InterLibrary Loan materials. Use the Alternate Format Request Form to confirm eligibility and register. For patrons already registered, please visit Request, Pickup and Delivery to place an alternate format request.

Syracuse University users with certified print disabilities can request text-enabled PDFs of HathiTrust volumes. Requests are made on a title-by-title basis, and any item in HathiTrust is eligible, regardless of copyright status. To request access, email Resource Sharing Manager with your name, SU NetID, the book author and title, and the link to the exact volume HathiTrust needed.

See the HathiTrust Accessibility page for more information.

Libraries staff will assist those who use screen readers or other assistive technologies with navigation of the Library website, e-journals and databases, or with a basic orientation of class sites on Blackboard. To make an appointment, email libref@syr.edu.

If materials on library shelves are not physically accessible for any reason (e.g. aisle is not wide enough, material is too high on shelf, or call numbers are difficult to read or see), staff will pull materials for patrons. For assistance in Bird Library, call 315.443.4083 from anywhere in the building during regular service desk hours and staff will coordinate with you to arrange help. You can also stop by the Service Desk or reach out to the floor monitors in the evenings for assistance.

You can use the Request, Pickup and Delivery service to request an item from the shelf.

Note: In Bird Library, the aisle width between the book shelves accommodates wheelchairs, but the area between shelves in Carnegie Library does not.

  • Joel and Barbara Zelnick Assistive Technology Room 123 on the 1st floor of Bird Library, near the Waverly entrance, is open when Bird Library is open.
  • Reserve a Study Room in Bird Library, available for use by all students, including those working with readers or other assistants. See Reserve a Room for reservation information.
  • Quiet Study Areas are also located throughout Bird and Carnegie Libraries.

Library staff at service desks will assist users with disabilities making copies or scanning documents on public copiers/scanners in their area.

Bird Library
  • 1st Floor Information desk: call 315.443.4083
  • 1st Floor Check Out desk: call 315.443.5727
Carnegie Library
  • Call 315.443.2160
Bird Library
  • There are three metered disabled parking spaces located on the north side of Bird Library. Two of these spaces are van-accessible.
  • The building is accessible with ramps and curb cuts leading to both of its main entrances on the north and south sides.
  • Entrances are equipped with automatic door openers.
  • Elevator service is available on every floor of Bird Library, and all elevators are equipped with Braille-encoded elevator buttons.
  • Restrooms with stalls that meet ADA compliance guidelines are available in Room 122, on the north perimeter of the 1st floor of Bird Library.
  • There are two unisex gender-neutral restrooms, one on the lower level and another on the 5th floor.
  • Other restrooms within Bird Library have large-sized stalls with grab bars, but may not be fully accessible.
  • Braille signs are posted outside all restrooms in Bird Library.
Carnegie Library
  • There are three disabled parking spaces available by the east side entrance to the Carnegie Building for use by Quad 3 parking permit holders.
  • The library has an automatic door opener on the east side of the building. A ramp inside this entrance leads to the first door which has an automatic door opener. An elevator is off that corridor. The main service desk is on the second floor.
  • Elevator service runs to the 2nd and 3rd floors but is not available for the 4th floor storage area. Library staff will retrieve materials from the 4th floor and mezzanine areas for patrons who cannot access this area.
  • For assistance locating and using library resources, the service desk can be reached by calling 315.443.2160.
  • Carnegie has new restrooms on each floor that are handicapped accessible.
Belfer Audio Archive and Preservation Laboratory
  • This building is NOT open to the public.
  • There are three metered disabled parking spaces located on the north side of Bird Library. Two of these spaces are van-accessible.
  • The entrance to the building is level with the outside grounds and has an automatic door opener. The classroom is right across from the front door.
  • Contact the Special Collections Research Center at 315.443.2697 or scrc@syr.edu for additional information.
Service Desks
  • Standard desk height (approximately 28 inches), and they may include a section that is at a lower height to accommodate wheelchairs.
Other Building Restrooms
  • Other restrooms within buildings that house branch libraries have large-sized stalls with grab bars but may not be fully accessible.

The alarm systems in Bird Library have strobe lights for the hearing impaired. If an individual is unable to exit the building without assistance, the standard procedure for building evacuation in all library facilities is:

  1. The person in need of assistance should call the Department of Public Safety's emergency number 711 (or call 315.443.2224) and report their location within the building and inform the dispatcher that they need evacuation assistance.
  2. Safety or the fire department will locate the person and assist them in exiting the building.
  3. If staff see a person needing assistance, they should inform the Emergency Point of Contact (EPOC) stationed outside the front door wearing a safety vest. The EPOC will inform safety personnel about the person in need and their location.