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Library Services For People With Disabilities
General Information | Assistive Listening System | VITAL (Vision Impaired Technology)

The Library is fully accessible for individuals who have difficulty with mobility. The elevator stops at all floors of the Library. Staff members will be happy to retrieve materials, make photocopies, fill out request forms or assist library users in any way. Please let us know how we can help!

Library staff will assist any patron with special needs, enabling everyone to enjoy full use of the Library's resources including the following:
  • our sizable collection of large print books, Playaways, and books on CD. 
  • a collection of NLS Talking Books and players which may be used while at the Library, or checked out to enjoy at home. 
  • a special radio that patrons may borrow to listen to programming from Audible Local Ledger, the Cape affiliate of the Massachusetts Radio Reading Service. 
  • collection of audio-described videos and DVDs, which have narration inserted between the dialog, describing the film's action and other key elements. 
  • Homebound delivery of books for those who are unable to visit the library, for more info visit Books on Wheels

Universal Symbol for Assistive Listening System 
Assistive Listening System (ALS)
The Brooks Free Library has an FM assistive listening system in its Thornton Room. This wireless system transmits sounds directly to a person who is hard of hearing for optimal clarity and better understanding. It provides improved listening clarity for people with hearing loss who experience difficulty and fatigue, when trying to understand speech, because of distance, reverberation, and distracting background noise. The listener hears the transmitted sound via a FM receiver that is used in combination with a compatible telecoil in a hearing aid or with headphones. The Library supplies receivers and headphones for use during programs.

The universal ALS symbol Universal Symbol for Assistive Listening System on program publicity indicates that the system will be used during that program.

Visit the Assistive Listening System Policy page for Brooks Free Library's official policy.

VITAL Program 
(Vision Impaired Technology Assistance at the Library)
Brooks Free Library offers assistive technology and training for people with vision loss. Patrons have access to the following computer programs: ZoomText screen magnifier & reader, JAWS screen reader, Dolphin Guide screen magnifier & screen reader,  & Kurzweil 1000 Text to Speech software. Using these programs, people with vision loss can do word processing, email, search the Internet, access print material and much more.

We also have non-computer equipment:
  • Eye-Pal solo reading machine
  • Optelec desktop video magnifier
  • Max portable video magnifier (which can be checked out and used with your TV at home)
  • Victor Reader Stream media player
Interested in learning how to use an iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone? We will teach you how, using Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader or Zoom magnifier.

For Braille users we have Duxbury Braille Translation software, a Juliet Braille Embosser, a Perkins Brailler, & a slate and stylus.

We offer free, one-on-one instruction in the use of our assistive technology to individuals with sight loss. We even have someone who will teach you to keyboard. The library also provides instruction in how to download audio books from the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) and Perkins Library online catalogs.

The VITAL resource area contains brochures, handouts, and catalogs of special interest to people with vision loss.  Our VITAL Center is located on the second floor of the Library, in the Reference Dept. If you'd like more information about VITAL services, training on the VITAL equipment or software, or are interested in training to be a volunteer tutor, please call the Library at (508) 430-7562 extension 5 and speak to Carla Burke, our Assistive Technology Coordinator. You may also email Carla at

Check out this video from Harwich Channel 18 on our VITAL program.