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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Accessibility in the Library

In coordination with RISD Disability Support Services, Fleet Library aims to make our resources accessible by providing information and reasonable accommodations for library users. 

Facility Accessibility
Fleet Library occupies the first two floors of 15 Westminster Street. The building’s entrance is fully accessible, including a ramp and automatic doors (with keycard entry). Once inside, there are elevators to access second floor areas including Special Collections, Archives, and the Visual & Material Resource Center. The main library reading room on the first floor has lift access to the mezzanine level, where current periodicals, zines, and the thesis collection are shelved. Please ask staff for assistance with this lift, either at the front desk or by calling (401) 709-5901. If you have trouble entering the building, call Public Safety at (401) 454-6915.

There are several computers and study carrels that are wheelchair accessible located throughout the reading room: behind the study pavilion, adjacent to the circulation desk, and near the research help desk. Classrooms within the library are accessible and may be reserved at

Two accessible, single occupancy gender-neutral restrooms are located on the first floor of the building, in Portfolio Cafe. Additionally, second floor men’s and women’s restrooms each contain an accessible stall. Visit the Library Spaces tab of this guide for more information. 

Additional Accessibility Measures

Book Retrieval
While book retrieval is not an everyday service offered at this library, if you need special assistance, library staff are happy to help. Request items ahead of time by emailing, calling (401) 709-5901, or asking at the circulation desk.

Accessible Formats
We work to ensure that digital files (PDFs, ebooks) placed on course reserve are accessible. All print materials we scan are saved in a searchable PDF format using optical character recognition that enables the use of text-to-speech technology. Learn how to make accessible PDFs yourself on this page.

RISD's Disability Support Services office works with us to provide alternate formats for print materials in the library collection, as well as textbooks. If you would like to discuss such accommodations for yourself or your student(s), please contact them.


We are also happy to consider requests for new library purchases in specific formats. Use our Suggest a Purchase form to do so. 

Curricular Video Reserves
Fleet Library will ensure caption availability for all moving image course materials. Please email with questions or to request captions for specific titles. RISD IT Services also can help provide accessibility, transcription and caption services.

Research Instruction Sessions
When faculty request Research Instruction, they should note any accommodations needed for students.


Browse our Accessibility & Design thematic collection for books spanning accessible design across disciplines.