Library Services

Library and Student Services aim to make all resources as accessible as possible for a student who has been assessed with a specific learning need. 

Accessible Formats

Making a request

If you require resources in an accessible format, you should talk to staff at the Gateway Desk located in your campus Library. They will be able to provide advice on the service and put you in touch with other UCA staff who will be able to help further.  

Handling a request

The Accessible Formats Service is only available to students who have been assessed with a specific learning need. If you have not been assessed, you will be referred to our Dyslexia and Special Learning Difficulty team who will be able to assess what you need to help you succeed in your studies.  

If you have already been assessed with a specific learning need, that information is stored securely by the University. When you approach the Gateway Desk for a request, they will send details directly to our Collections Team who will acquire or digitise the resource for you.  

Depending on the nature of the resource requested, this may take a few days or, if a complete book is requested, may take up to three months. You will be updated on the progress of your request by the Collections Team.  

The Gateway will contact you when your resource is ready. The accessible format resource is only for your use - it cannot be shared with anyone else and, when you have finished with it, it should be deleted. 


Common requests include:

  • large print
  • printed on coloured paper
  • PDF format with optical character recognition (OCR) applied to text

Digital formats can be used with screen reading software and magnifying software. You will find suitably equipped computers in most studios and in the Library. For help on using these services contact the Gateway Desk.


Subtitles & Audio

Specialist requests can include:

  • subtitles
  • transcripts
  • audio on CD

eStream is the Library's video streaming service. If a programme is recorded through Sky, subtitles can be added at the point of recording by prior arrangement with Library staff. If you would like to use this service, please email the visual resources team, giving 7 days notice if possible.

Borrowing Entitlements

After you have been assessed as needing additional help, your borrowing rights will be upgraded as follows:

  • Standard loan books can be borrowed for twenty eight days unless they are in a reservation queue.
  • Seven day loan books can be borrowed for fourteen days unless they are in a reservation queue.

For more information about the Accessible Formats Service and to discuss your specific needs, please contact