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Accessibility In The Library

Copyright and disability: making personal copies

A disabled person is able to make a copy of the whole or part of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work into a format which is accessible to them. This is under the terms of Section 31A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

To make an accessible copy of a copyrighted work, the following conditions must be met:

  • The disabled person must have lawful access to the work (e.g., they must own it or have borrowed it from the library), AND
  • The person's disability prevents them from enjoying the work to the same degree as a person who does not have that disability.

The copy can be made by the disabled person, or by a person acting on behalf of the disabled person.

The copy must be made for the disabled person's personal use only.

All users who do not qualify for the Section 31A copyright exception must comply with usual copyright regulations and exceptions; you can find more information on these in our copyright guide for learning, teaching and research.

Copyright and disability: copies provided to you

As a University, we are able to make an accessible copy for a disabled user under Section 31B of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. These are the terms under which copies are provided to disabled persons through the Alternative Formats Service.

All copies provided to disabled users will include a copyright notice, reminding them that:

  • All copies provided are strictly for personal use of the disabled person.
  • No further copying, storage or distribution is permitted (except as provided for by copyright law, or with consent of the copyright holder).
  • The author has moral rights in the work.

We maintain records of accessible copy requests fulfilled under the terms of this Act, including a list of works for which we have produced accessible copies.