Assistive Technology

The Kansas City Public Library is committed to ensuring all of our patrons have access to information. This includes making our technology accessible for those of all differing abilities. The following is a list of adaptive technologies made available for our patrons using the Library's Public Computers.

On-Screen Magnifier

Windows Magnifier can be turned on from any screen (including the login screen) to allow patrons to zoom in on specific parts of the screen for easier reading. To access the Magnifier using keyboard shortcuts on the Library's public computers:

  • Windows key + Plus Sign (+) to open the Magnifier
  • Windows key + Plus Sign (+) to zoom in, or Windows key + Minus Sign (-) to zoom out
  • Windows key + Esc to close the Magnifier

To view different areas of the screen's contents, move the mouse around the screen. If using a touch screen, drag your finger along the bottom and side borders of the screen.

For more details, see the Windows Magnifier support page.

If using a personal Mac computer, the Zoom option is launched using the keyboard shortcut Option + Command + 8. See the Mac Accessibility Shortcuts page for more information.

Screen Readers

Microsoft's Narrator is available on all versions of their operating systems, and can be found in the Start Menu under Windows Ease of Access. To access the Narrator using keyboard shortcuts on the Library's public computers:

  • Windows key + Ctrl key + N to open the Narrator
  • Enter to start or stop the Narrator
  • Arrow keys to move around the screen

For more keyboard shortcuts, see Windows Narrator support page.

If you are using a personal Mac computer, the VoiceOver Utility can be launched using the keyboard shortcut Command + F5. See the VoiceOver User Guide for more information.

Video Chat

For hearing impaired patrons, there are several free video-chat applications online, including Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and Skype. Each service requires the user to log in with a personal account, but can be accessed using the Library's public computers.


To create text using speech-to-text software, patrons can use Microsoft Word on the Library's public computers. An online option is available using Google Docs; a Google account is required to use this service.


The Kansas City Public Library branches have on hand the following hardware to assist patrons interacting with technology and resources. These items will be kept by staff and provided to patrons who would benefit from their use.

  • Microphone: To use for text dictation or other functions that require proximity to a microphone
  • High Visibility Keyboard: These specially designed USB keyboards provide high-contrast key designation for use by patrons with limited visual ability.
  • Trackball: These USB trackball devices allow patrons with limited mobility to better control the mouse-pointer on the screen.

Other Resources

At the Library

The Central Library has access to a Video Relay Service for deaf and hard of hearing patrons that know ASL. Come to the OneNorth Technology Lab to make interpreter-assisted phone calls.

The Whole Person

If you need assistance outside of what the Library offers, The Whole Person offers a broad range of services to people with disabilities to increase their ability to perform day-to-day activities.

Missouri Office
Ph: 816.561.0304
3710 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64111

Kansas Office
Ph: 913.871.4188
8040 Parallel Parkway, Ste 300
Kansas City, KS 66112

Accessibility at the Library

For questions about how the Kansas City Public Library is user friendly for all patrons of differing abilities, please email our ADA Access Coordinator.