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Find Services for People with Disabilities
The Chicago Public Library offers a number of services for people with disabilities. The Talking Book Center located on the fifth floor of the Harold Washington Library Center has a wide variety of specialized services for those who meet eligibility requirements.
The following collections and services are available to all CPL patrons:
Materials may be checked out with a valid Chicago Public Library card.
Check out digital audiobooks using eBooks, eAudiobooks and More.
These self-contained digital audiobooks are available at a number of branches. Digital players come preloaded with one book and run on one AAA battery (provided). Earbuds are also provided.
Large Print Books
Large print books use an enlarged typeface, making the text easier to read. The Harold Washington Library Center has CPL’s largest collection of large print books, located on the seventh floor, but smaller collections are available at several other library locations.
A telesensory magnifier is a television terminal that magnifies reading, writing and other materials up to 45 times the original size. This device enables patrons to read mail or newspapers, write checks or letters, and better enjoy photographs.
Telesensory magnifiers are available on the fourth and seventh floors of the Harold Washington Library Center. Various magnifiers are also available at these library locations: Budlong Woods, Logan Square, Portage-Cragin, Sulzer Regional Library, Uptown and Woodson Regional Library.
The Computer Commons on the third floor of the Harold Washington Library Center has wheelchair-accessible PCs with JAWS software that enables them to read aloud the words on the computer screen whether it is in a Microsoft Word document or on a webpage. Disposable headphones are available from the Computer Commons staff.
Woodson Regional Library has a videophone with video relay service for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The videophone enables videophone users to sign to an American Sign Language interpreter who then speaks to a phone user on the other end of the line.
The Library requires 10 business days’ notice to ensure the services of an American Sign Language interpreter for Library events or programs. To schedule, call (312) 747-4252.
Accommodations for HWLC Events
To request amplified headphones for programs in the Harold Washington Library Center’s Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Video Theater or Multi-Purpose Rooms, call Corporate and Private Events at (312) 747-4130.
Reference Service via Textnet
To reach a librarian via Textnet, dial (312) 747-4314.
This U.S. government site connects users to information about disability-related programs, services, laws and benefits at the federal, state and local levels.
Especially for Job Searchers: People with Disabilities
The Especially for Job Searchers section of the CPL website has resources for people with disabilities who are looking for employment.
Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities works to meet the needs of people with disabilities who live and work in Chicago. It offers services for accessible housing, employment, transportation and more.