Access for All

We provide services to help adults and children with individual needs, from physical and learning disabilities, special circumstances (like those who are housebound) and people whose first language is not English.

All our libraries are accessible to people with a disability. Please see the Library Branches page for details or contact us to discuss your accessibility requirements.

Our Reference Library holds a wealth of information about disability, and local and national organisations representing the interests of disabled people.

If you need to use a text reader or resize the text on any web page, please use the links in the top right corner of every web page.

We provide many services for people with special requirements:

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Accessible IT at Milton Keynes Libraries

Help for people with special requirements:

  • People's Network computer workstations in our libraries are accessible to all.

Useful Websites:

  • RNIB - Royal National Institute of the Blind offers practical support and information to anyone with a sight problem including a useful section on Access Technology Factsheets.
  • The ITCH (IT Can Help) Network of volunteers provides FREE computer support to disabled people. Volunteers can visit people in their own homes or other locations like residential homes and day centres. ITCH can be accessed through the AbilityNet website.
  • AbilityNet - a UK based charity who work with people to help them get online.

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Basic Skills Services

Help From Your Library - Basic Skills:

  • Milton Keynes Libraries provide a range of material to help you improve your basic skills.
  • We have books to help you improve your reading skills.
  • Some of the books come with a CD so that you can follow the text as it is read.
  • These are free to borrow but you will need to join the library to borrow books.
  • We have various library resources that you may find helpful if you have dyslexia.

Basic Skills Resources for Students and Tutors:

Help from Community Learning MK:

  • Help is available in Milton Keynes for adults wishing to improve their reading, writing, maths and spelling skills.
  • To find out more visit the web pages for Adult Education at Community Learning MK.

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Library Resources for People with Dyslexia

  • eAudiobooks, eBooks and eMagazines
  • Large Print Books
  • Graphic Novels - books which tell a story using a combination of words and drawings in box strips, like a comic. The variety of subject matter and the quality of the art work make them very popular with all ages, especially teenagers.
  • Basic Skills Collection
  • Computers at Libraries
  • Quick Reads - if you prefer not get into a full-length book, you can try one of the Quick Reads. These are short, well-written books aimed at grabbing your interest. You can get Quick Reads in two different forms:
    • as a book with ordinary size print
    • as an audio pack including the book and an audio version on CD.

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Learning English as a Second Language (ESOL)

Help from your local library:

  • If you want to learn English our libraries have books and CDs to help you. They are free to borrow but you need to join the library to borrow them.
  • As a library member you can download free eAudiobooks, eBooks and eMagazines.
  • We stock books in several community languages other than English. These can be borrowed by library members.
  • We also have magazines and newspapers in community languages at some of our libraries.
  • Library members can access digital newspapers and magazines from the UK and all around the world with PressReader. You can also read them in 60 other languages! Use the PressReader app to listen to articles in the language you choose.
  • Community Learning MK (CLMK) provides courses for learners who speak English as a second or additional language.
  • Central Library runs informal English Conversation Classes every 2 weeks and everyone is welcome to come along.
  • You can access IELTS online. IELTS is the International English Language Testing System - the world's proven English language test. 

Useful Websites:

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Library Services for People with a Hearing Impairment

Bookshine for children 0-4 years

Useful Web Links for Anyone with a Hearing Impairment
Organisation Information
Help from Milton Keynes Council Milton Keynes Adult Social Care and Health Directory - Select 'Sensory Impairment' under 'Client Group' for a listing of services for people in Milton Keynes.
Action on Hearing Loss Action on Hearing Loss - the largest charity for people with hearing loss in the UK.
Milton Keynes Deaf Children's Society The Society aims to provide education, health and welfare advice to parents of deaf children. It also holds social and fund raising events.
Community Learning MK Contact Community Learning MK for details of Sign Language Courses.
American Sign Language This is a useful site with links, guides, fact sheets and information about the American Sign Language system.

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Library Services for People with a Visual Impairment

Milton Keynes Libraries offers the following FREE services to people with a visual impairment:

  • Audiobooks - CDs
  • eAudiobooks - Downloads
  • eMagazines - Downloads
  • eBooks - Downloads
  • Large Print Books - fiction and non-fiction
  • Compact Electronic Magnifier - Central Milton Keynes Library has a Compact magnifier available for people to use in the library. The Compact is a hand held device that can be used to magnify text. The device is placed over text and the image is enlarged. If you would like to use the Compact please ask at the Adult Enquiry Desk on the first floor.
  • Booktouch - for blind and partially sighted children
  • Mobile Library Service
  • Home Library Service
  • Reservations of audiobooks
  • Visually Impaired Reading Group - meets at the Central Library
  • Pressreader - digital publications from around the world in 60 languages. You can also listen to articles in the language of your choice using the PressReader App.

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Useful Web Links for Anyone with a Visual Impairment
Organisation Information
Help from Milton Keynes Council Milton Keynes Adult Social Care and Health Directory - Select 'Sensory Impairment' under 'Client Group' for a listing of services to people in Milton Keynes.
Royal National Institute of Blind People The leading charity offering practical support and information to anyone with a sight problem.
RNIB National Library Service

Provides help with library and information services for visually impaired people. RNIB's lending library has an extensive collection of books for children and adults in Grade 1 and 2 Braille and in Moon. It also has a Braille Music Library, a small collection of large print and audio books and a Giant Print Library for children and young people. Stock includes fiction, non-fiction and reference material to meet your leisure, information and lifelong learning needs.

The RNIB Library gives you access to over 170,000 items available for loan and/or sale in audio, large and giant print, Braille and Moon.

Milton Keynes Reader Service A voluntary organisation providing one-to-one reading and writing service for local people with sensory or physical disabilities. Trained volunteers provide services free of charge to any person living in the Milton Keynes area who finds accessing information difficult due to their disability. They also advise local organisations about presenting information in alternative formats.
Sound News Local newspapers are read and recorded once a week at the Open University. These recordings are then distributed to people in the Milton Keynes area who are unable to read a newspaper through physical and visual disability.
Calibre Audio Library Aims to provide the pleasure of reading to anyone who cannot read ordinary print books, whether because of sight problems or some other difficulty. They have over 19,500 members, and offer a choice of more than 8,000 titles to borrow, all recorded unabridged on MP3 or cassettes. For copyright reasons, users must provide proof that they are eligible for the service. The service is FREE to individuals.
Bucks Vision Bucks Vision works in partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council and Milton Keynes Council. They provide specialist services for people who are blind and partially sighted. Staff can provide advice and information about help that is available. They can also offer training to help people maintain independence. Volunteers provide social clubs and a visiting scheme.

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Last Updated: 18 August 2020