Services for Individuals with Disabilities at Miller Nichols Library

Building Accessibility | Research & Materials Accessibility | Adaptive Technology


Contact Information

The Miller Nichols Library is committed to providing services and assistance to all members of the UMKC community. If you have questions about our services, please contact:

Scott Curtis
Coordinator of Disability Services
(816) 235-1508
or the Library's First Floor Service Desk at (816) 235-1526

The Library accepts calls through the National Relay Service (711) and the Missouri Relay Service (800-735-2966).

The Miller Nichols Library partners with the campus Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD). For questions about overall campus services or to arrange for reader services or adaptive technology training, please contact:

Scott Laurent
Coordinator of Student Disabilities Services
Office of Services for Students with Disabilities
(816) 235-5696

Building Accessibility


Accessible parking including a van accessible spot is available in the parking lot north of the Miller Nichols Library.

Building Entrance

The north entrance to Miller Nichols Library is on the side of the building near the parking lot. A power-operated door is located on the west side of this entrance (to the right as you enter the library) and is accessed by a ramp beginning at the sidewalk near the west corner of the building.

The south entrance to Miller Nichols Library and Miller Nichols Learning Center has a power-operated door accessed by using the sidewalk between the entrance and 51st Street.

The west entrance, through the Miller Nichols Learning Center, also has a power-operated door. This entrance allows more direct access to the Miller Nichols Library if approaching using the sidewalk from the Fine Arts Building or Student Success Center.


Three elevators are available for all floors of the library. One is located in the hallway to the immediate right after entrance into Miller Nichols Library through the south entrance, while the other two are located in the central core of the building.


Restrooms are located in the central area of each floor. The second floor restroom has a low energy power-operated door and a large accessible toilet stall. Bathrooms on the other floors have smaller accessible stalls and may not meet all needs.

Emergency Evacuation

Emergency stairwells are located on the east and west walls of the Miller Nichols Library. These stairwells are fire proof and act as tornado shelters. The landings on each floor of these stairwells are accessible.

Research and Materials Accessibility

Book Retrieval

While library stacks have been configured to be accessible, library personnel can retrieve materials upon request. If requesting many items, advanced notice is preferable. Books from UMKC requested directly through the MERLIN library catalog are usually ready for pick up by the next afternoon (excluding weekends). For additional information, call the First Floor Service Desk at (816) 235-1526.

Scanning and Printing

Students can scan materials using the new KIC Scanners in the Information Commons and the Music/Media Library. Scans can be saved to flash drives, or emailed to any valid email account. If students wish to copy and print materials, they must first scan and save or email them. Students may print from library computers using their student print quota (50 pages per week). For more complete information, please visit the Printing and Scanning LibGuide.

Study Areas

The Miller Nichols Library has several study rooms in the Information Commons one of which can be reserved for use by two or more people. Call the First Floor Service Desk at (816) 235-1526 to reserve the room.  In addtion, study tables, carrels, and lounge areas are available on all floors of the library.

Research Assistance

You can get help using the library from the First Floor Service Desk in person, or via phone or email. Reference staff assist patrons in using the MERLIN online catalog, online databases, the Internet, and other research materials. Basic reference assistance is available whenever the library is open; however, in-depth research questions may require a longer consultation that will be provided by appointment. To schedule an appointment for in-depth research assistance, please call the First Floor Service Desk at (816) 235-1526.

Examples of Basic Reference Questions:

  • Does the Miller Nichols Library own these two books?
  • I need to identify two or three scholarly articles in the field of social work.

Examples of In-Depth Research Questions:

  • I need to compile a legislative history of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • I am doing a paper about whether there are long term psychological effects for women who had abortions. I want to know what the current research says about this topic.

Online Databases and Catalog

The University Libraries' databases and catalog, like some websites, do not always work well with screen readers and adaptive technology. Although we urge companies to increase the accessibility of these products, we don't have control of their usability. If you are unable to or unsure of how to use the databases or catalog, we can assist you in your research. Such assistance could include:

  • Instruction in how to use a database or catalog.
  • A research consultation in which we facilitate your use of the database.
  • Librarians searching the databases and providing results and articles for your review.
  • Training in which we describe the database/catalog interface and how a screen reader interacts with it.

To make an appointment for this kind of assistance, please call the Reference Desk at (816) 235-1526.

Large Print Materials

The Miller Nichols Library has a collection of large print reference books located in the Information Commons. This collection includes three standard dictionaries, a medical dictionary, a thesaurus, and the MLA Handbook.

Library Instruction Sessions

In addition to individual instruction and research consultations, the Library offers instruction sessions to entire classes.  The Library's classroom, Room 121, has a workstation with an adjustable table to accommodate students who use wheelchairs.  If you are coming to the library with your class and have specific needs, please feel free to contact the library or ask your instructor to contact the librarian teaching your class.  You may also call Scott Curtis, Coordinator of Disability Services (816-235-1508) or Diane Hunter, Head of Teaching and Learning Services (816-235-1537).

Adaptive Technology

The Miller Nichols Library has two workstations and a laptop computer located in the Information Commons on the first floor that are reserved for priority use by students, faculty, or staff with disabilities. These computers log on with the single sign-on account, providing access to a student's personal network drives, library resources, the Internet, and productivity software. The two workstations allow printing from students' weekly campus print quota. A variety of adaptive software and hardware is provided on these computers including screen readers, screen magnifiers, and braille embossers (further detail below). For training on the use of this software, please call the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) at (816) 235-5696. To use the laptop computer, request it at the Reference Desk.


Workstations in the Information Commons

  • JAWS (Version 9.0): screen reader (available on workstation UA01 only) JAWS User Guide
  • Window Eyes: screen reader (availalbe on workstation UA02 only)
  • ZoomText: screen magnifier
  • Open Book Unbound: talking software for scanning, reading, editing, printing, and downloading text
  • Duxbury Braille Translation (DBT): text-to-braille translater for braille embossing
  • WYNN Read Software: screen reader that highlights text as it reads
  • HP PrecisionScan Pro: scanning software
  • OmniPage Pro: OCR software that converts scanned text into computer-editable text.
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional: speech recognition software to allow dictation for entering and revising text. (This program requires 3 to 4 hours of training and licensing before it can be used. Please contact the OSSD at (816) 235-5696, to inquire about this training.)

Laptop (To use the laptop computer, please contact Scott Curtis: (816) 235-1508, email form.)

  • SUPERNOVA (Version 7.0): combined screen reader and magnifier.
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional: speech recognition software to allow dictation for entering and revising text. (This program requires 3 to 4 hours of training and licensing before it can be used. Please contact the OSSD at (816) 235-5696, to inquire about this training.)


  • 22 inch widescreen monitors
  • ScanJet ADF Scanners
  • Juliet Pro Braille Embossors: Assistance with embossing braille is available from the Reference Desk. To transcribe more than 10 pages of print text to braille, please contact the OSSD at (816) 235-5696. The Library's equipment has limited image embossing capabilities. Those needing a tactile version of an image, table, map, or other non-text information should contact the OSSD which can arrange access to a Tactile Graphics Embosser.
  • Height adjustable table (available on workstation UA02 only)
  • IntelliKey Keyboard (available for use on either station)
  • Mini Trackball Mouse (available for use on either station)

Stand-alone Equipment

  • Aladdin Ambassador Pro Scanner Reader: Located to the left of the adaptive technology workstations, this unit scans, reads and saves to disk almost any text item. It cannot scan images. To use or to be trained to use this reader, please make an appointment with Scott Curtis: (816) 235-1508, email form.
  • CCTV (Closed Circuit Television): Each adaptive technology workstation has a CCTV next to the computer.  The CCTVs magnify printed text enabling comfortable viewing of books, papers, and three-dimensional objects for a wide variety of users with vision impairment. Features include adjustable magnification, high-contrast display, multiple background/foreground color combinations, and horizontal line markers.
  • TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf): Located at the Reference Desk, this typewriter-like machine permits users with hearing or speech impairment to communicate by typing messages back and forth over telephone lines. Students may use this device during the libary's open hours. The Library accepts calls through the National Relay Service (711) and the Missouri Relay Service (800-735-2966).

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