CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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CILIPS Accessibility – the story so far

Category: Blog, News

CILIPS Accessibility and Neurodiversity with white text on a yellow-green sunflower background.

In common with professionals across every area of the libraries and information sector, we know that accessibility is key to creating a genuinely inclusive and supportive community: breaking down barriers and ensuring that every CILIPS member has equitable access to career resources and opportunities.

Here are some recent steps we have taken to make our work more accessible, along with our accessibility priorities for the coming weeks and months:

Accessibility Tools


A screenshot of the CILIPS website showing an accessibility tools menu.

Have you ever noticed the blue and white wheelchair icon to the right of our website pages? Click it to open up options for Accessibility Tools: from increasing or decreasing text size to high contrast, all links underlined and more.

These are always available to all website users, not only CILIPS members, and there is no need to register or login. Give it a try!

A screenshot of the CILIPS website showing an accessibility tools menu and the webpage in high contrast with a black background and yellow/green text.

Contact Scotland


Contact Scotland BSL information: 'contact us via an online Sign Language Interpreter'.

Contact Scotland BSL is a free video relay service, providing instant British Sign Language (BSL) video interpreting for all calls to Scotland. It is funded by The Scottish Government to enable full access to make phone calls 24 hours, 7 days a week in British Sign Language.

This means that BSL users can contact CILIP Scotland via an online BSL/English interpreter, using a computer, smartphone or tablet. We can also call the user back if they are registered with Contact Scotland.

On our Contact Us page, you will find more information about Contact Scotland BSL, including the logo signifying that we can be contacted this way and a link to further information about the service.

Please feel free to add the Contact Scotland icon to your own library’s website and make use of it in your own organisations.

Accessibility and Neurodiversity Resources


CILIPS Accessibility and Neurodiversity with white text on a yellow-green sunflower background.

CILIPS has an evolving collection of resources dedicated to accessibility and neurodiversity for libraries and librarians. The collection aims to support library staff as well as their communities, helping give libraries the tools they need to become more accessible and offering a starting point for creating library collections that are more truly representative of readers. We were honoured when our Accessibility collection was added to the Literature Alliance Scotland EDI Resource Bank – a comprehensive array of helpful resources and examples of best practice gathered together from across Scotland’s literary sector.

Recommendations for additional resources are always welcome – please email us at or add anonymized suggestions anytime to our EDI padlet.

We also recently created an Accessibility Guide to the CILIPS site for branch and group web editors, as well as any other CILIPS members or library professionals who use a WordPress website. Inside, you will find advice about Alt Text, Headings and Subheadings, and why you should never hyperlink only ‘click here’.

Captioned Recordings


A captioned recording of ARLG Scotland's Global Accessibility Awareness Day event, with speaker Kellie Mote and the caption 'I think you are the unsung heroes of accessibility'.

The CILIPS YouTube channel includes captioned recordings of many recent online learnings, including those from our 2022 Annual Conference. Captions are auto-generated by YouTube for us to then edit (such as ‘CILIPS’ rather than ‘Philips’ or ‘school library parents’ rather than ‘school library peanuts’!). As a team of two, we do our best to ensure that all captions are correct, but if you spot any inaccuracies in a recording, please let us know.

An accessibility highlight on our YouTube channel is ARLG Scotland’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day recording. This fantastic afternoon of online sessions included Kellie Mote from JISC on why librarians are accessibility superheroes (we agree!); AbilityNet’s Innovation Consultant Adam Tweed on the accessible tech available to us right now; University of St Andrews Digital Accessibility Adviser Ros Walker on how alternative format technology is changing the way we support learners’ needs; and Huw Alexander, Managing Director of textBOX, on why we should all ASPIRE to tell our story through effective accessibility statements.

CILIPS Professional Development Fund – Accessibility


A microphone beside a laptop with the CILIPS logo showing.

Chris Scott PR & Media Photographer Dundee, Scotland.

New for 2022, the CILIPS Professional Development Fund has expanded to welcome grant applications (to a maximum of £600) that will support members living with a disability to acquire the assistive or accessible technology they require to undertake CPD activities and at times when the applicant feels it would be beneficial to use.

Applications are considered on a quarterly basis on the same timescales as our other Professional Development funding.

Please share the PDF Accessibility grant opportunity across your networks if you can. For further information about any aspect of the Fund, please contact us at

Future Focus

Call for Trustees

We recently shared a new call for applications, inviting members to consider join the CILIPS Trustee Board, and accessibility will be at the heart of the recruitment process. Via two online Mythbusting Q&A sessions, we will challenge ourselves to dismantle the barriers that disabled and neurodiverse professionals all-too-often face when pursuing opportunities like Trusteeship, and our current Board members will also be sharing their unique journeys into the role via the CILIPS blog.

Find out more about the call for new Trustees and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or require any of the information in an alternative format.


Our ongoing learning in library sustainability has highlighted the necessity and benefits of centring disabled voices in environmental action, far more emphatically and meaningfully than has been the case in history. A great starting point in this area is this powerful blog by Friends of the Earth Scotland, and we also learned a great deal at the 2022 SCVO Gathering thanks to a session hosted by Forth Valley Sensory Centre on making climate information accessible. An exciting collaboration between our two organisations is now in the works for Libraries Week – stay tuned for more very soon!

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