The CEF Outreach Department coordinates funds from the New York State Library to extend library services to special populations. From the visually impaired to the “geographically isolated,” we offer solutions and services that help everyone enjoy the benefits of reading. Services to these “target groups” are provided directly by CEF and/or local public libraries:

  • Blind
  • Physically Handicapped
  • Aged
  • Institutionalized
  • Ethnic Minorities in Need of Special Services
  • Educationally Disadvantaged
  • Unemployed/Underemployed
  • Geographically Isolated

We have organized this section into different pages so you can quickly find the information you need. Click the button to go to the page that’s right for you.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Older Adults: Tips for Caregivers

Click here to check out our large print books and multi-media programming materials; and link to sites recommended especially for seniors.

ADA Logo wide version

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

The ADA National Network consists of 10 regional centers and an ADA Knowledge Translation Center. The regional centers are distributed throughout the United States to provide local assistance and foster implementation of the ADA. Take a look at some of the useful fact sheets they provide as well.

More Useful Links:

SitePoint: 12 Tools To Check Your Site’s Accessibility

Library Accessibility – What You Need to Know

ADA Signage in Libraries

ADA Building Federal Guidelines

Interior Specifications on ADA Designed Libraries

ADA Programming Ideas

Policy Statement from the ALA

Respect for People With Disabilities

wheelchair symbolDid you Know? When writing about or interacting with a person with a disability, it's always best to use "person first language" since individuals should not be defined by their disability. For example, "we have a wheelchair patron" should be "We have a patron who uses a wheelchair". And, people are not "wheelchair bound", rather the "use a wheelchair."

Since 1984 the Research and Training Center on Independent Living (RTC/IL) has distributed more than 1 million copies of its groundbreaking style sheet, Guidelines: How to Write and Report About People with Disabilities. You can find a printable poster summarizing the information here.

New York Library Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Do you want to listen to the newspaper on the radio? Would a book holder make your life easier? How about a closed captioned decoder or a magnifying sheet? Do you have a question about current ADA standards or local services for the physically handicapped? Call 563-5190 to find out more!

An updated "Guide to Library Services" is available on the web site of the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library. This is a brief, two-page introduction to using Talking Book services and what to expect when registration is completed.

The NYSTBBL is a great FREE service for patrons who are not able to use traditional print materials. Please see the New York State Library Talking Book and Braille Library website to link to the guide and other promotional materials. If you have questions about the service, please contact Karen Batchelder at CEFLS (kbatchelder@cefls.org).

Residents of Institutions

This tool kit offers guidelines, tools, and resources to help education providers implement the Reentry Education Framework that promotes the development of an education continuum spanning facility- and community-based reentry education programs.


Click here for easy access to local literacy providers  and our favorite literacy pages that are great for adult new learners and tutors!

WWW cefls.org