Accessibility Services

UVic Libraries supports users with a disability by providing several specialized facilities and services in each of our libraries: McPherson/Mearns Centre for Learning and the Diana M. Priestly Law Library.

Specialized facilities and services

Assistive Technology rooms

Our Assistive Technology rooms offer specialized software, in addition to the standardized MS Office productivity software, and adaptable workstations to support patrons with print-based and learning disabilities.

They are open to all UVic students, faculty and staff during library hours, with priority given to those who require use of the specialized technology or adaptable workstations/equipment in the room.

Users of the Assistive Technology rooms are expected to follow the room guidelines which include:

  • Respect that the AT rooms are shared spaces with multiple stations for student use.
  • Refrain from moving or removing furniture and signage.
  • Not unplugging or adjusting equipment without consulting staff.

Assistive Technology rooms cannot be pre-booked. Each room has multiple workstations for all students to share.

  • Mearns - McPherson Library - Main floor, Rooms 113e and 113f
  • Law Library - Main floor, Room 172

Available software includes:

  • Kurzweil 1000
  • Kurzweil 3000
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional
  • JAWS
  • MAGic
  • ABBYY Fine Reader
  • PaperCut

Priority workspaces

Priority workspaces are marked with the standardized accessibility decal.  See PDF for a listing of priority workspaces by type and location.

Priority Workspaces

Contact the respective loan desk for assistance in locating or accessing any of the workspaces:



Respite rooms

Respite rooms are available in the Mearns - McPherson Library and the Law Library; use is subject to availability.  Request access at the loan desks; photo ID will be required. Occupants are requested to leave the room clean and tidy; cleaning supplies are provided. 

  • Mearns - McPherson Library - Main floor, Room 132: bed with lift, easy chair, and adjustable lighting
  • Law Library - Second floor, Room 258: bed, easy chair with foot stool, and adjustable lighting

Allow a designate to access your library account

Appointing a designate:

You can appoint a designate (a friend, a family member, an attendant, etc.) to access your library account on your behalf (e.g. sign out, renew or recall items; pay library fines) for a specified timeframe. To do so, and to be in compliance with the the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, we require written consent. 

Authorizing a proxy:

You can authorize a proxy (e.g. a research assistant, a teaching assistant) to borrow library materials on your account for a specified timeframe; normally, this service is limited to faculty and staff. To authorize a proxy you, as the sponsor, may submit the online application form.

  • All library notifications are sent to the proxy sponsor's email address
  • Proxy patrons are unable to recall books on your behalf
  • To enable your proxy to place interlibrary loan requests on your behalf, contact our (250-721-8236)

Alternate formats

If you require our library materials in an alternate format, including course reserves, fill out the form below or contact the Ask Us desk (). However, if you require materials in an alternate format and we do not have the materials in our collection contact Interlibrary Loan ( or 250-721-8234). 

UVic Libraries will work with you to get what you need in a timely way; turn-around time is on an item-by-item basis. 

Submit request with the alternate format request form

The file(s) being provided are prepared in accordance with the Canadian Copyright Act. By downloading these files you are agreeing to retain them for your use only. 

Centre for Accessible Learning

Please contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) if you have an alternate format accommodation. You may be asked to provide proof of purchase for the course material/textbook. For more information, please see the alternate format texts program though CAL.

Book retrieval

Book retrieval is available for individuals who require help retrieving items from our collections. 


If we are unable to retrieve your items immediately they will be made available for pick up at the loan desk.

Research help

Need research help? Ask us!

Contact your subject librarian who can provide specialized help with your research. Or, visit the Ask Us Desk at Mearns - McPherson Library or the Law Library.

Other campus resources

McPherson Library
Mearns Centre for Learning


  • All floors are accessible by elevator
  • Washrooms in the lower level and on the third floor are wheelchair accessible
  • Washrooms in the BiblioCafé are wheelchair accessible; one is also equipped with a lift

Diana M Priestly Law Library
Fraser Building


  • All floors are accessible by elevator
  • Washrooms on the first floor are wheelchair accessible

How can we improve our services?

Contact , Director, Engagement and Learning