UC Berkeley Library

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. Here’s what you need to know.

Using the Library during COVID-19

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are now open. To stay up to date on the Library’s policies and services during the pandemic, visit the Library’s COVID-19 webpage.

Disability resources - Print disabilities

Content section: 

Using the Library’s online resources

The Library seeks to make its online catalog, UC Library Search, as accessible as possible for those who rely on screen readers for audio output. Many aspects of the Library’s online catalogs and websites for research databases are operated by other entities that the Library does not control. If you encounter problems when using the Library’s online resources that are due to incompatibility with assistive technology, please report your experience to Jennifer Dorner, Library Disability Liaison, by email at dorner@berkeley.edu.

Finding digital versions of books in catalogs and databases

Many of the Library’s materials already exist in an electronic version. The following resources may be checked to see if there is already an existing electronic copy of the materials you seek.

DSP will scan assigned readings for class

  • The Disabled Students Program (DSP) will create a fully edited version of course-related print material in your preferred format.
  • DSP Alternative Media Guidelines
  • Contact DSP - 260 Cesar Chavez Student Center, (510) 642-0518 or (510) 642-6376 (TTY).

Converting online documents into an Accessible Format

SensusAccess is a self-service solution that automates the conversion of documents into a range of alternative formats including mp3, e-books, Braille, and Daisy. The service can also be used to convert otherwise inaccessible documents such as image-only pdf files, scanned images, lecture notes or other educational material into more accessible formats.

SensusAccess is open to all staff, students, or faculty with an @berkeley.edu email address and is meant to complement the accessibility services offered by the DSP Alt-Media Center and the Library.

Self-scanning for free

  • Use BookScan scanners in the libraries to convert print into a digital format.
  • Download scans onto a personal USB flash drive.
  • Scanners with JAWS software may be found at the Alternative Media Center. DSP can provide instruction on how to use scanners with audio output.
  • Reserve items must be scanned within the reserve time limit. Exceptions may be requested at the library’s circulation desk.
  • Rare materials may not be eligible for scanning. Students may arrange with their DSP Specialist for a personal reader or other appropriate accommodation.
  • Microform items may be printed and then scanned. At the Newspapers and Microforms Library in 40 Doe Library you may scan microform to a flash drive.

The Library will scan copies of print materials from library collections


  • Berkeley students who are registered with the Disabled Students Program (DSP) and have a disability that necessitates alternative media
  • Berkeley faculty, instructors, and visiting scholars who have a disability that necessitates alternative media

Overview of the program:

  • The Library will scan materials owned by our Library and borrowed from other libraries through Interlibrary Services.
  • The Library aims to provide the person with a copy of the item in digital format within an average of five business days from the date it is requested. Exact time may vary based on the number of items and size of items submitted within the same period. Student requests take priority.
  • Additional delay may occur due to the in transit time to MAIN or the availability of the material (ex: missing during search, at bindery, etc).
  • The person requesting the item will receive email notification when the digital file is ready. The email will include a link to download the digital file. The file will be available as a Word document and as a searchable PDF.

More information about the procedure.