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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.