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Specialized Services Request Form

Prepared by UWT Library staff in consultation with Disability Support Services (DSS) at UWT and the University of Washington Libraries Operation Manual, Vol. II, Sect. A, No. 2c (September 1, 2003)


As an educational institution, the University of Washington, Tacoma Library expects all of its users to make use of regular services to the maximum degree possible based on the student's abilities. The UWT Library is also committed to providing access to its materials and services to persons with disabilities in accordance with the UWT Mission Statement and in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Many of the services, electronic resources, and physical attributes of the UWT Library have been designed with universal principles that anticipate effective, flexible use by people with a broad range of abilities and disabilities. For example, the library provides some ergonomically-designed chairs; wheelchair-accessible study carrels, table spaces, and computer terminals; and an Adaptive Work Station (for student users only). However, not all needs can be anticipated or provided with universal design principles. Therefore, the UWT Library provides a range of specialized services for people with disabilities, in conjunction with the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office at UWT.

In some cases, UWT Library staff may request written documentation from the student of the need for a requested accommodation (e.g., DSS provides such documentation when students with disabilities register with DSS). To obtain such documentation, UWT students should consult with the DSS Office. If a user wishes to have a proxy complete library-related tasks like borrowing materials, the proxy may also be asked to provide documentation. For UWT students interested in proxy assignment, consult with the DSS office.

General Guidelines for Specialized Library Services

Due to the range of needs that a library user may have, the specialized services below are divided into two categories, scheduled services and non-scheduled services.

I. Scheduled Services

Scheduled services are those that require lengthy preparation on the part of library staff, and often involve staffing shifts or assignments that cannot be made without advance notice. Scheduled services include:

  • Requesting that books held by UWT Library be pulled from the shelves and collected for the library user at the circulation desk (up to 15 books per request). To request these books, students will need to search the UW Libraries Catalog to locate individual titles. Once you have identified a UWT Library book in the catalog, use the "Request" button (following all the steps until you receive the message: Your request will be delivered to Tacoma Campus Library when it is available).
  • Requesting that articles held in paper or microforms by UWT Library be printed or photocopied and collected for the library user at the circulation desk (up to 10 articles per request); please fill out the form and give to Library staff. Library staff can also provide the form that should be used to order this service. Request forms need to be filled out completely, per instructions, and need to be submitted to the Circulation Desk with a Copy Card that has adequate funds to cover the costs of printing the requested materials. Regular costs and payment apply for provision of paper copies of microforms or photocopies.
  • Any non-scheduled service that the library user prefers to schedule in advance as a way of ensuring timely service and eliminating delays; to schedule such a service, call the Circulation Desk at (253) 692-4440 or email circulation staff at, or call the Reference Desk at (253) 692-4442 or email reference staff at
  • Requesting sustained physical research support from the Reference Desk (such support may include asking that reference staff work uniquely with the library user with disabilities and physically type the information searches for the user, for scheduled periods of 30 minutes or more); to order this service, visit or call the Reference Desk at (253) 692-4442 or email reference staff at

Scheduled Service Completion Time

When a library user requests a scheduled service by noon on a weekday (M-F), the service will be provided no later than 5 p.m. on the next weekday. For example, a library user locates citations for 7 articles held at UWT and places a request for those articles through a library staff member by noon on a Tuesday. The articles will be available at the circulation desk for the library user by 5 p.m., Wednesday. Specialized services requested by noon on Friday will be honored by 5 p.m. on Monday.

II. Non-Scheduled Services

Non-scheduled services require staff support but generally do not require staffing shifts or reassignments.

Small delays in meeting a request for a Non-Scheduled Service may occur during Off-Peak Staffing Times (see below), but such delays will usually be 15-30 minutes maximum. [Under extraordinary circumstances, e.g., a shortage in staff due to illness, this delay could be longer. Library staff will identify such occasions to users with disabilities, to allow the users to decide whether they wish to return at a later, scheduled time (see Scheduled Services, above).]

All efforts will be made to eliminate or reduce delays during Peak Staffing Times.

Peak Staffing Times (during academic sessions)
Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm

Off-Peak Staffing Times (during academic sessions)
Monday-Thursday, 5 pm - 10 pm
Saturday, 9 am - 5 pm
Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm

Non-scheduled services include:

  • Using the photocopier.
  • Using the microfilm/fiche equipment and accessing the information from the microfilm/fiche (use of 13x27 lens along with zoom/enlargement feature may be useful for some patrons with visual disabilities).*
  • Accessing/printing ereserves.*
  • Using the Pharos print station.*
  • Physical assistance when traveling to a new location within the library
  • Completing online order forms.
  • Turning on Adaptive Station (for student use only) and activating software.
  • Reading posted materials regarding Library procedures, policies, and services.
  • Putting material into backpack or getting materials out to return them.
  • Communicating with deaf or hard of hearing patrons (when no interpreter is available) by writing notes or sitting down at a computer and typing to one another.
  • Using phones (for deaf or hard of hearing patrons).
  • Using VCR to view closed captioned videos (for deaf or hard of hearing patrons).
  • Using databases and locating research materials.

*Regular costs and/or payments apply to all photocopying and printing from microforms or online resources. Persons requesting a service that involves copying or printing are responsible for providing Copy Cards that have adequate funds available for such services.

Peak Staffing Times (during academic sessions)
Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm

Off-Peak Staffing Times (during academic sessions)
Monday-Thursday, 5 pm - 10 pm
Saturday, 9 am - 5 pm
Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I only attend class at UWT on Saturdays, an off-peak staffing time. How will the specialized services meet my needs, given that they are provided during peak staffing times?

A. Although scheduled reference support is generally provided during Peak Staffing Times, it can be requested for Mondays-Thursdays, 5-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Such requests should be at least 24 hours EARLIER than is standard for a scheduled service. For example, you should request a scheduled reference meeting by noon on Thursday if you need it on Saturday. Similarly, if you wish to pick up books and/or articles on Saturdays, simply request them by noon on Thursday (they will routinely be available by 5 p.m. on Friday, and you can simply get them on Saturday when you come to campus).

Q. Sometimes it is difficult to know how much reference help I might need. What if I think it will just take 15 minutes, but it actually starts to take a lot longer than that?

A. As much as possible, library staff will work to complete the service at the time. However, if other library users are experiencing lengthy delays (15 minutes or more) and staff are not available to help, the library staff person may ask you to schedule assistance at a later time or day. Such occasions will be exceptionally rare during Peak Staff Times, but might occur during Off-Peak Staffing Times. We understand that it can be very difficult to anticipate the time that research will take!

Q. What if the number of UWT Library articles and/or books that I need exceeds the maximums listed in the Scheduled Services description?

A. Submit your entire request, even if it exceeds the maximums. The form asks to you to list your request in priority order, if you exceed the maximums. Library staff will try to fill your entire request within the usual time-frame. If this cannot be done, they will fulfill the request UP TO the maximums by 5 p.m. on the next working day after your order is submitted, and will complete the part of the request that was OVER the maximums by 5 p.m. on the second working day after you submit your request.

Q. I have need for a service that is not described above. How can I obtain it, if possible?

A. To discuss your request with a library staff person knowledgeable about the kind of service that you need, call or email the Circulation Desk (253-692-4440; or Reference Desk (253-692-4442; Explain your need and we will work to meet it. On some occasions, if the requested service is unusually complicated, you may be asked to meet with a library staff person and/or a representative from Disability Support Services (DSS) to discuss it in greater detail.

Contact Information

If you have concerns, comments, or questions about the services the UWT Library provides, including specific comments about a service you have requested, please notify:

Lauren Pressley, Director, UWT Library;, 253-692-4444 and/or
Disability Support Services;, 253-692-4522