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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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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 metered spaces on the Library's north side along Center Drive. All visitors must pay to park.

The Library provides two metered, handicapped parking spaces and an accessible entrance ramp on the north side of the Library by the loading dock on the B1 level. These meters charge $2.00 per hour, up to 3 hours at a time and take quarters, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. You may add more money to the meter when you get close to the 3-hour limit.

The metered parking spaces at the front of the Library charge $2.00 per hour, up to 3 hours at a time. You may add more money to the meter when you get close to the 3-hour limit. These meters take quarters and only Visa and Mastercard.

You can access several amenities in the main lobby of the Library. Visitors can use an elevator equipped with an accessible control panel and a voice announcer. The Library maintains motorized and manual wheelchairs and accessible restrooms near the guard desk.

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 must bring their own USB drives to save scanned materials.

NLM staff assists with only the basic features of the assistive technology software.

Some workstations allow for wheelchairs and include keyboards with enlarged lettering.

Staff Assistance

Ask NLM staff if you need help getting materials delivered to your carrel or table or help with scanning.

You may request a sign language interpreter. To use this service, call the Reference Section in advance at 888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656) or the Federal Relay Service at 800-735-2258.