Forbes Library is pleased to offer the following services for people with visual impairments:

Handheld magnifiers

Magnifying glasses in a variety of sizes and levels of magnification are available for use within the library. Just ask at the Arts and Music or Reference Desk.

Desktop magnifier

A powerful desktop magnifier can be found near the reference desk. This closed circuit video system provides high power magnification and contrast controls. The system (an Optelec ClearView 300) is very easy to use. If you would like instruction or assistance with this magnifier, please ask at the reference desk.

Screen Magnification Software

All our computers have screen magnification software. For help setting up or using Magnifier, please ask at the reference desk.

Screen reader software

NVDA screen reader software is installed on all our public computers. Please ask at the reference desk if you would like assistance getting on a computer and setting up this software.

Large Print Collection

Forbes Library offers over 4000 large-print books including fiction and non-fiction. These books can provide a more comfortable reading experience for those with vision impairments. Additional large-print titles may be obtained through interlibrary loan and we are happy to have your suggestions for new purchases.
New additions to the large print collection are kept in the Reading Room and the rest of the collection is on the back of the first floor. Please ask us if you would like help finding materials in this or any other collection.

Large Print Keyboards

All the computers in the reference room have keyboards with large easy to read letters and symbols.

Audiobook Collection

Forbes Library has audiobooks on CD and Playaway, as well as downloadable audiobooks available through the CW MARS Digital Catalog.

Braille Collection

The library has a collection of children’s books in Braille.

EBooks and eAudiobooks

CW MARS has a collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks. Please talk to a librarian if you would like help downloading titles from this catalog. Librarians can also help eligible patrons sign up for services from the Perkins library, which gives access to many accessible titles.

Assistive Technology for Loan

Forbes Library has a number of assistive devices that can be borrowed from the library for home use. Stop by the reference desk or call 413‑587‑1012 for more information. These include

  • A Ruby HD Video Magnifier—a small handheld digital magnifier.
  • A National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped digital talking book player. We also have a small collection of talking book cartridges.

Videos With Audio Description

You may also view a partial list of our videos with DVS and other audio description services. For a list of DVD and streaming titles available commercially please see the ADP Master List of Audio Described Videos.

Everything Else

Is there anything else we can do to help you enjoy the library? Please contact us!