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Access for Persons with Disabilities


In order to assist people with disabilities, the staff takes an active approach to providing access to its services and collections. The Library's staff is always available during your visit for clarification and assistance. Queries regarding services at individual research centers can be made as follows:

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
(212) 491-2213

Science, Industry, and Business Library
917-ASK-NYPL (917-275-6975)

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
917-ASK-NYPL (917-275-6975)
TTY Reference is available at (212) 930-0950

Library for the Performing Arts
(212) 870-1605

All public service units of the Library are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, including the incorporation of ADA-compliant ramps, doorways, restrooms and elevators.* Reading tables, computer workstations, and service desks are at a comfortable level for wheelchair users.

All public access computers are equipped with easy to use font enlargement functions, as well as specialized software, JAWS and MAGic. JAWS is a computer screen reading program for people who are blind or have low vision, and MAGic is a screen magnification program which enlarges words or images on a computer screen. Kurzweil Personal Readers, which convert printed text into synthetic speech for patrons who are visually impaired, are available at the Library for the Performing Arts and the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

Dragon Naturally Speaking, a foot-mouse and ergonomically designed hand mouse, are available on a separate computer in the assistive technology room in the Science, Industry, and Business Library. Dragon Naturally Speaking allows users with mobility disabilities to speak into a microphone instead of type, to use a computer for word processing, Internet, and to access library databases. Text magnifiers are available at both the Science, Industry, and Business Library and the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, which enables different levels of magnification and enhanced lighting for easier reading of printed material.

Wheelchair-accessible microfilm reader/printers are available in the Microform Reading Room, located on the first floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. Machines with motorized spools are available, and a larger microfilm magnification lens for the visually impaired is also available upon request.

Support for services for people with disabilities was made possible, in part, by a grant from Filomen M. D'Agostino Foundation.

*Please note that the American Negro Theater and the Gift Shop at the Schomburg Center for Black Culture are currently not wheelchair-accessible, pending renovations.