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For Patrons with Learning, Cognitive, or Developmental Disabilities

The Library offers sensory-friendly programming for all  ages. To learn more, see our programs below, or email accessibility@nypl.org. Children of all abilities—whether neurotypical or not—are welcome at all of our programs. 

Programs

NYPL offers a range of programs to suit adults with learning, cognitive or developmental disabilities, from movie screenings to computer skills classes. The Library also offers sensory-friendly programming for children—all interactive and designed to engage kids through music, movement, stories, and sensory activity play. 

  • Find programs and classes for adults.
  • Find sensory-friendly events for children.

Books and Materials

The Andrew Heiskell Library  provides free access to over 50,000 professionally-narrated titles in talkingbook, braille, or digital formats for people who are blind, visually impaired, physically disabled, or who have a biologically-based reading disability such as dyslexia. Patrons with developmental or cognitive disabilities resulting in significant difficulty with standard print books, can have an MD sign their application to certify they have a reading disability based on an organic condition. For more details on the law around this, see the NLS Factsheet.
 
Certified patrons can have a talkingbooks machine and titles sent free to their home, download titles to keep from our website, or access them through a free app for iOS and Android. You can get reference help or order books through our hotline, email account, or 24-hour voicemail to 212-206-5425.

 
NYPL also provides free access for eligible patrons to Bookshare's 400,000 accessible ebooks / e-audiobooks that can be read from a computer or mobile device. The wide variety of titles are read aloud with synthetic speech and provide simultaneous highlighted text on screen.  Learn more and sign up.

Resources

Access these databases with your library card, from home or at a branch.

  • Bookflix: Browse an online literary resource that pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction ebooks to build a love of reading and learning.
  • tumblebooks: Watch your favorite picture books come alive with animated illustrations and text that highlights as it is read aloud to you.

Interested in bringing a class to the library?  Class visits can be arranged. Contact your local library  directly or email accessibility@nypl.org.