Guidelines for Use of the Special Access Computers in the State Library

1. Purpose

The purpose of this guideline is to provide clear information to State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) staff and clients about:

  • The purpose of the Special Access Computers and how they are different to the other computers that may be reserved by clients;
  •  Who can use the Special Access Computers and under what circumstances.

Special Access Computers are defined as computers with specific access modifications and (or) accessories to make them more accessible for clients with special needs.

2. Context

The State Library’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan states that:

The State Library has a strong commitment to ensuring that people with special needs can access the State Library and the collections and services.

And that,

People with disabilities have the same opportunities as other people to access the State Library and its facilities.

The Australian Library and Information Association’s (ALIA) “Guidelines on library standards for people with disabilities” states there is “no single definition appropriate to all people with disabilities”. SLWA accepts that Special Access Computers are for those with special needs, not specifically those with a disability, and that these needs can sometimes be due to other circumstances such as age, visual impairment, or injury. This is also stated in the ALIA Guidelines: “Alterations made with people with disabilities in mind, e.g. large-print screens, ramps, sound amplification, will often benefit a wide range of people not classified as people with disabilities: the elderly, parents with small children, people temporarily ill or injured and people with common vision impairments.”
To ensure equal access to services for clients with special needs, SLWA currently provides one Special Access Computer on each of the following levels:

  • Ground level (computer: G-09);
  • First level (computer: 1-01); and
  • Second level (computer: 2-05).

Computer G-09
G-09 has a large monitor, trackball mouse, large keyboard for people with vision impairment, and an adjustable desk suitable for wheelchair access;

Computer 1-01
1–01 has a large monitor, and an adjustable desk suitable for wheelchair access.

Computer 2-05
2-05 has a large monitor, and an adjustable desk suitable for wheelchair access.

All Special Access Computers provide access to the following:

  • SLWA’s website and the Internet [Browsers: I.E. & Chrome]
  • Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Flickr, and other social media platforms
  • SLWA catalogue, eBooks, eResources, and databases
  • LibreOffice software suite including: Writer [word processing], Calc [spreadsheets], Impress [presentations], and the Base, Math, and Draw modules
  • VLC Media player
  • Windows Media player
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • SLWA document print services

3. Guideline Statement

(i) All clients must present their My Library Card to a staff member when asking for assistance to reserve a computer.
(ii) Special Access Computers can only be reserved by staff on behalf of the client.
(iii) Special Access Computer G-09 will always have a trackball mouse, a large keyboard, a large screen, and an adjustable desk. This computer is provided specifically for clients with vision impairment.
(iv) Special Access Computer 1-01 and 2-05 will always have a large monitor, and an adjustable desk. These computers are suitable for wheelchair access.
(v) SLWA staff will not ask a client to prove or identify their disability, nor prove their need for a Special Access Computer. Requesting or identifying a need to use a Special Access Computer is sufficient evidence to use one.
(vi) To ensure equitable access for all clients’ extensions to booked time on the special access computers may be limited.

4. Documentation

Nil

5. Responsibilities

Manager: Client Services

6. References

7. Authorisation and Review

Approved by: Manager: Client Services on 06/08/2018
Review date: 06/08/2020
CIU File: 14/52

Last updated on 15 October 2021