Accessibility

riverview room at old post office

Idea Exchange’s Commitment to Accessibility

The Cambridge Public Library Board (operating as Idea Exchange) is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner, and will do so by preventing and/or removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Read our Accessibility Policy for more information. You can also read our multi-year Accessibility Plan.

Accessible Customer Service Policy

Idea Exchange provides its services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. 

All reasonable effort will be made to ensure that our policies, practices, and procedures are consistent with the following principles set out in the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07): 

  • That the provision of services to people with disabilities and others are integrated unless an alternative measure is necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with disability to obtain, use, or benefit from our services; 
  • That people with disabilities are given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use, or benefit from our services.

Read our complete Accessible Customer Service Policy.

Our Emergency Evacuation Guidelines for People Requiring Assistance are available for review to ensure the safety of all persons during emergency situations.

Accessible Collections

We have books and other resources available in many different formats, with titles and genres to suit everyone’s tastes.

  • Large Print Books – read books with large font size, which is easier on the eye than traditionally printed books. Most publishers use 18-point font as a minimum for their large print books. Large Print books are available at all library locations.
  • eBooks – download and read eBooks using your computer, eBook reader, or mobile device. Many of these devices allow you to adjust the font size, font style, and background contrast. We offer eBooks in a variety of formats ranging from ePUB to read-along.
  • Dementia Friendly Books – our collection of Dementia Friendly Books is located near the Large Print section on the Main Floor of the Queen’s Square library. The titles can also be found in the catalogue by searching “Dementia friendly books” or “Alzheimer friendly books”. All the books may be placed on hold and borrowed for three weeks. This collection offers engaging content, just like other adult books, but they use techniques like special fonts and spacing, navigation cues, and include more pictures to encourage memory retention and make stories easier to follow.
  • Memory Kits – these Dementia friendly kits provide activities for people with Alzheimer’s, memory loss and other neurological issues and their caregivers. Each kit comes with two to three items and can include books, puzzles, games, activity aprons, or mats that offer tactile stimulation. Each kit includes a tips sheet to help facilitate positive interaction between the caregiver and patient. All kits may be placed on hold and borrowed for three weeks. 
  • Light Therapy Lamps – light therapy has proven successful in helping those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). These light therapy lamps are available for in-library use at all Idea Exchange locations. We also have SAD Lights available to borrow for three weeks, and they can be found in the catalogue by searching “sad light” or “light therapy box”.

If you are looking for a book in an accessible format that we do not have in our collection, please contact our Queen’s Square location and ask to speak to someone about our Interlibrary Loan (ILLO) service. We may be able to obtain the book in a format that best suits your needs.

Talking Book Service

If you have trouble reading print because of a visual, physical, or learning disability, you are eligible to apply for our Talking Book Service.

With a Talking Book Service membership, Idea Exchange staff are able to help you borrow materials from the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA), which has an extensive collection of accessible resources:

  • Bookshare – the CELA Bookshare Collection is an accessible online library offering more than 750,000 titles, including books for all ages, best sellers, and more. These books are available in e-text and e-braille. Audio book versions are only available in synthetic speech (computer voice). CELA works with publishers to convert available book files to accessible formats. CELA requires proof of disability to participate.
  • Direct to Player – the CELA Direct to Player service allows you to download DAISY books directly to your own DAISY Player or to your iOS or Android device using the EasyReader app.
  • CELA Interlibrary Loan – request specific titles directly from CELA’s extensive collection including titles for all ages in Braille, Print Braille, and DAISY CDs. To request a CELA title, please contact our Queen’s Square location and ask to speak to someone about our Interlibrary Loan (ILLO) service.
  • DAISY CDs at Idea Exchange – we have a selection of DAISY CDs available at Idea Exchange for quick and convenient borrowing. DAISY CDs allow you to listen to books or magazines in the DAISY format (Digital Accessible Information System) using a specialized device (DAISY Reader). Titles are available at our Queen’s Square location for browsing in person by request. Titles can also be found in the catalogue by searching “DAISY CD”. They can be placed on hold and borrowed for six (6) weeks. 

To participate in this service, please visit your nearest Idea Exchange location with proof of your full name and current address and complete the Application form for Talking Book Service.

Caregivers who wish to deliver library materials to a family member or friend who qualifies for Talking Book status must also complete and return the Application form for Caregivers, also avaialble at all of our locations.

If you prefer to register for a CELA account on your own, please use CELA’s online registration form or call CELA at 1-855-655-2273.

Accessibility Tools & Assistive Technology

Idea Exchange provides a wide range of accessible tools and assistive technologies:

  • Microsoft Ease of Access – all public desktop computers, at all locations, have access to Microsoft’s accessibility suite, including a magnifier, narrator, and high contrast settings. Look for this icon (below) to adjust the computer display to fit your needs:

Microsoft ease of access

  • Magnifying Glasses – magnifying sheets or glasses are available at service desks in all Idea Exchange locations.
  • Assistive Listening Devices – assistive listening devices are available at the Old Post Office for performances in the lower level and the first floor. 
  • MagnusCards Mobile AppMagnusCards is a free app that combines instructional social stories with elements of game design to help users learn essential life skills and support independent living. Discover Idea Exchange’s MagnusCards guides. Our guides have been updated to help you understand what to expect when you visit an Idea Exchange location during the COVID-19 pandemic. Step-by-step instructions are available for:
    • Getting a Membership Card
    • Searching the Computer Catalogue and Placing Holds
    • Checking Out Your Item
    • Returning Your Items to the Library
    • Visiting Cambridge Art Galleries
    • Using services at the Old Post Office

Request Idea Exchange Documents in Alternative Formats

All publications and documents produced by Idea Exchange can be made available in large print or other alternative accessible formats upon request. We will work with you to best meet your needs as soon as possible.

Documents in accessible formats may be requested from Jamie Kamula, Director, Public & Digital Services:

  • Online – Complete the Suggestion Form online.
  • In PersonVisit any Idea Exchange location and complete the Alternative Formats and Communication Supports Request Form.
  • By Telephone – Call 519-621-0460, ext. 139.
  • By Online Chat – Visit our website and use the Online Chat service during open hours to speak with a library staff person who will be able to direct your request.
  • By Mail – send your request in writing:

Jamie Kamula, Director, Public & Digital Services
Idea Exchange
1 North Square
Cambridge, ON N1S 2K6

Submit Your Feedback

Your feedback is important to us! Feedback can be provided to Helen Kelly, Chief Executive Officer:

  • Online – Complete the Suggestion Form online.
  • In Person – Complete a Comment Form at any Idea Exchange location.
  • By Telephone – Call 519-621-0460, ext. 120.
  • By Online Chat – Visit our website and use the Online Chat service during open hours to speak with a library staff person who will be able to direct your feedback.
  • By Social Media – Connect with us through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
  • By Mail – send your request in writing:

Helen Kelly, Chief Executive Officer
Idea Exchange
1 North Square
Cambridge, ON N1S 2K6