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May 2013

'Tis The Season For Amazing Fairs and Events!

May 23, 2013 | Margaret W. | Comments (0)

Two great events are coming up soon, and Toronto Public Library is pleased to participate in both.

The first is People in Motion, which will take place Friday, May 31st and Saturday, June 1st, 10am - 5pm, at the Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place.

This show, the largest of its kind in Canada, is for people with disabilities, seniors with special needs, people working in related areas, family and friends, and anyone else who would like to come.

Exhibits include:

  • adapted vehicles
  • mobility aids
  • barrier-free design
  • rehabilitation services
  • home health care products
  • accessible travel
  • leisure activities
  • technical aids
  • employment information
  • corporate services
  • government programs

This is a perfect opportunity to compare products and services all under one roof.


The second is JuneFest, which recognizes and celebrates June as Deaf-Blind Awareness Month in Ontario.

JuneFest will be held at Mel Lastman Square, 11:30am - 4pm on Wednesday, June 5th. Mel Lastman Square is at 5100 Yonge Street, North York.

The festival is hosted by The Canadian Helen Keller Centre , the only residential training centre in Canada for people who are deaf-blind, and Rotary Cheshire Homes, which provides housing and services for people who are deaf-blind. 

An amazing array of organizations will be present. Visit them, and learn about the technology and devices, services and resources that are available to people who are deaf-blind.

Artists who are deaf-blind will be displaying their work, which will be judged by JuneFest attendees. Works include paintings, drawings, sculpture, knitting, original craft projects, poems and short stories. There will be games and activities for people of all ages, a charity barbeque, free samples and music.

Come and check out these two great shows!

More about Deaf-Blind Awareness Month in future posts.



ARCH Disability Law Centre Library

May 14, 2013 | Margaret W. | Comments (0)

ARCH Disability Law Centre is a specialty community legal aid clinic dedicated to defending and advancing the equality rights of people with disabilities in Ontario.

Recently, ARCH opened a library that is accessible to the public.

The ARCH Public Library holds a browsing general collection of current material on disability rights, policy and services together with practical information for independent living. It also carries accounts of personal experiences.

As well, the ARCH library houses a historical/archival collection of materials that would be of interest to researchers on disability rights and policy in Canada. The material covers a broad range of topics addressed by ARCH in over 33 years of law reform. Among them: equality rights, employment discrimination, education rights, legal capacity and income security.

All materials are for use in the ARCH Disability Law Centre Library, but if you find something you would like to take home, they will help you locate a copy and direct you to TPL if we have one. Their online catalogue also includes additional electronic resources.

There are two computers with adaptive technology available for library users.

Their catalogue is also available remotely, and online tip sheets show you how to make the most of your catalogue search.

The ARCH Public Library is open 9:30am-4:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Wednesdays it is open 12:30pm to 4:30pm.

It is located at 425 Bloor St. East, Suite 110, Toronto.

(It is important to note that the collection is intended for information only, not a substitute for advice on a specific legal matter.)

This new resource sounds fabulous and is well worth a look.




DSTO's Annual Information Fair 2013: TPL Will Be There!

May 9, 2013 | Margaret W. | Comments (0)

Developmental Services Toronto is holding their 8th Annual Information Fair on Tuesday May 14th.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about services offered to adults with developmental disabilities and their families by agencies, organizations and groups throughout the city.  

There will be presentations throughout the day, and then, from 2pm - 3pm, a Self-Advocate Social with coffee and tea and hanging out.

The event is free, and no registration is required. It takes place at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court, Toronto.

Don't forget to visit Toronto Public Library at our information booth - we'll be there!





Finding Descriptive Videos In The Catalogue

May 2, 2013 | Margaret W. | Comments (0)

The Toronto Public Library carries many descriptive videos, and now it's easier to find these in our catalogue.

What are descriptive videos? They are DVDs or videos "which have been augmented with special narration which describes the action for people who have visual impairments.

As a descriptive video plays, it describes the visual elements of action, characters, locations, costumes and sets to the viewer without interfering with the movie's dialogue or sound effects." (Definition from the Free Library of Philadelphia, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped)

Up until now, descriptive videos were found by typing in the subject heading "Video Recordings for People with Visual Disabilities".

However, often people were unaware of the subject heading, and in this instance even a search by keywords doesn't help. Without the exact heading, the items are hard to locate.

Thanks to a customer's suggestion, now you can use easy-to-remember web addresses to get right to the page that will give you the list of descriptive videos and DVDs.

Just begin with the Toronto Public Library web address and then add any one of the following:





Here's an example:

You can also use a shortened version of the address. Simply type 

Of course, you can still use the subject heading if you like!

There are more improvements coming to descriptive video and DVD searching. We'll keep you posted.

The Accessibility Services Blog provides information and updates on current and upcoming library trends, programs, collections, and services to existing and potential TPL customers with disabilities, along with their friends and family. The blog offers a forum through which library customers can interact with TPL and share feedback and ideas, and communicate with staff. Features of the blog include highlights on special collections and assistive technologies available through the library, opportunities to get involved, and staff recommendations for programs, books and other materials.