Overview of Services
The Access Services branch of the Fairfax County Public Library removes barriers to library services for people with permanent and temporary disabilities. If you or someone you know cannot read standard printed materials or cannot get to a library, we can help!
Visitors to Access Services may use screen reader software, screen magnification software, text-to-speech reading equipment, a refreshable Braille display, and tabletop and portable CCTV magnification devices. We have a selection of hand-held lighted magnifiers and portable assistive listening systems available for borrowing. Demonstrations are available by appointment. Please reserve lighted magnifiers and assistive listening systems two weeks in advance.
Access Services provides rotating collections of large print and regular print library books to senior centers, retirement communities, hospitals, and other eligible organizations located in Fairfax County. Titles are selected to match reading interests of clients in each institutional setting.
Readers in Fairfax County who are unable to travel to a local library due to disability, illness, or frailty may be eligible for free home delivery of library materials. Written certification may be required.
Access Services staff members are available by appointment to present free talks and workshops about our specialized library services. Topics can be tailored to meet the needs of your group. Please request programs at least two weeks in advance. We also welcome invitations to exhibit at wellness fairs and other community events.
Library Collections in Access
The Disability Awareness Collection offers books and other materials related to learning about and managing disabilities. Our Audio-Described DVDs are classic, popular, and award-winning movies containing special descriptive narration for people with low vision or blindness. We also lend a variety of multimedia nostalgia kits designed for use by groups of older adults.
Our talking book service provides audio books and playing equipment free of charge by mail. Individuals of all ages who are unable to read or use standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, or physical limitations are eligible for the program. Access Services administers the Talking Book Program for Fairfax County and for the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church on behalf of the Library of Congress. An application form (313K pdf file) is required for certification.
Groups and Book Discussion Groups
We sponsor support groups and assist book discussion groups for adults who are coping with the loss of sight. Groups meet at libraries and other locations throughout Fairfax County.
For a rewarding and fun experience, become an Access Services volunteer. Our wonderful volunteers help us by leading book discussions and support groups, processing audio and large print materials, performing data entry and office support tasks, serving on our Friends group, and much more.