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Accessibility at the National Library of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) supports the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by providing our visitors with access to the NLM buildings and collections.

Building and Facilities

Cars with handicap license plates or hang tags may park in the designated spaces on the Library's north side along Center Drive. You may also park in a metered spot in front of the Library at any time without paying.

  • An accessible entrance ramp is located on the north side of the Library by the loading dock on the B1 level
  • An elevator equipped with an accessible control panel and voice announcer is located in the main lobby with access to the B1 level
  • Motorized and manual wheelchairs are available by the guard desk in the main lobby
  • An accessible restroom is located in the main lobby

Collection Access and Use

Two Main Reading Room workstations have special software for visitors with visual impairments including:

  • Screen magnification software
  • Text to speech synthesizers

A Kurzweil machine scans English language text and reads it aloud. Visitors may bring their own USB drives to save scanned materials.

Some workstations are adjustable for wheelchairs and include keyboards with enlarged lettering.

Staff Assistance

You can ask NLM staff to deliver your materials to your carrel or table or to help you with scanning.

You may request a sign language interpreter. Please make arrangements for this service in advance by calling the Reference Section at 888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656) or contacting the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

NLM staff can assist with basic features of the assistive technology software. Detailed knowledge of the equipment and software is your responsibility.