Accessible Services

HPL Access Center for the Visually and Hearing Impaired

Central Library | 3rd Floor | 832-393-1603 (Voice Message Only)

The Access Center provides special adaptive equipment, materials in accessible formats and library services for customers with special needs who are:

  • Blind and/or visually impaired
  • Deaf and/or hearing impaired

The Access Center is open during Central’s regular hours of operation and located on the third floor.

Access Center Services

Digital Audiobooks

Download e-audiobooks from OverDrive, RBdigital, and Axis360.
*Starting September 1st our subscription to RBdigital will change in order to provide more audiobook titles that are exclusive to RBdigital. While initially there will be a small selection of titles, the collection will include audiobooks by Danielle Steel, Fern Michaels, and Alexander McCall Smith that are not available from other sources. Please be patient with us as we build the new collection. Be aware any titles in your favorites will be affected by availability in the new collection.*

Large Print Books

More than 9,000 books with an enlarged typeface that makes them easier to read.


A color Topaz CCTV is available. Materials placed under the Closed Circuit Television lens are magnified onto a monitor.

Video Relay Services

Purple Public Video Phone is located in a phone alcove on the third floor. This service allows deaf and hard of hearing people the ability to make Video Relay Service (VRS).

ZoomText 9.1

A screen magnification software, has been installed on Access Center computers and at the following locations: Henington-Alief, Robinson-Westchase, Park Place, and Scenic Woods.

Screen Readers

  • JAWS 13.0, a screen reading software has been installed on designated computers in the Access Center. It translates voice commands and is used in place of mouse and keyboard. It is available at Hennington Alief, Robinson Westchase (currently closed for remodeling), Park Place, and Scenic Woods
  • SARA, a scanning and reading appliance, into which reading materials may be scanned and read back in these languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian and English
  • Miscellaneous computer mice
    Special mice designed for customers with coordination and dexterity issues
  • Descriptive videos
    Descriptive Video Service (DVS) provides an audio track that enhances the film experience for non-sighted and visually impaired customers. The descriptions provide information related to the setting, the character’s attire, and facial expressions during pauses in the film dialogue. DVS DVDs are available in the Movies, Audiobooks and Music section of the Central Library. They are also available at many of our neighborhood library locations. Click here for a list of descriptive videos in the HPL catalog.
  • ADA Policy and Grievance Procedure, City of Houston

Access on Demand in-house use only

  • Two 17-inch laptops with JAWS (screen reading software) and ZoomText (screen magnification software)
  • A 24 inch monitor is also available upon request
  • With advance notice of 24 hours, these laptops can be shipped to any HPL location

Contact us to request this equipment. Call 832-393-1313 or via e-mail

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