National Network for Equitable Library Services (NNELS) and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA)
It is estimated that there are more than three million Canadians with print disabilities, but less than 5% of published material is available in accessible formats. Improvements in delivery provides libraries with an opportunity to make additional materials more widely available to this underserved population.
The National Network for Equitable Library Services (NNELS) provides access to a growing collection of downloadable audio books and other accessible formats restricted to the print disabled, made available through the SILS catalogue in Saskatchewan.
The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) provides its own library of physical items for all ages, such as Braille books, Described videos, Books on CD and DAISY discs, to print-disabled patrons of member libraries. You can have these items delivered to your home, but some are also made available for ordering through the province-wide catalogue.
If you or someone you know requires access to materials restricted to the print disabled, please contact your local librarian.
NNELS and CELA materials have been produced for the print disabled community. A print disabled patron is defined in the Canadian Copyright Act as a person with an impairment that prevents or inhibits them from reading a literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work in its original format and includes a disability resulting from:
- Severe or total impairment of sight or hearing or the inability to focus or move one's eyes
- The inability to hold or manipulate a book
- An impairment relating to comprehension
A person meeting one of these criteria can fill out a self-declaration form at their local library. The print disabled status will be added to his/her card and the corresponding barcode and PIN can then be used to access NNELS material. They can also sign up for a CELA library account to have items sent directly to their home if they wish.
For the Print-Disabled Application forms, click here.
Your public library can sign you up with a CELA account, but you can also go here to start the process yourself. You will still need to visit your library to receive and fill out a Print-Disabled self-declaration form or Print-Disabled competent authority form.
NNELS material can be found in the SILS catalogue. The results of a keyword search can be limited to Accessible. NNELS material is available in the following three formats: RESTRICTED EAUDIO, RESTRICTED EBRAILLE, RESTRICTED ETEXT. To see the entire list of NNELS titles, do a keyword search for "national network for equitable".
Titles can also be found on nnels.ca
CELA materials can also be found in the catalogue, but these are limited to DAISY discs. To see the complete CELA collection and order any physical materials, such as Braille books and Described Videos, or digital materials, such as Electronic Braille or eAudiobooks, visit celalibrary.ca
Patrons with print disabilities can download the NNELS restricted e-Audio file onto an existing listening device including an iPod, iPad, iPhone, Tablet or Victor Stream Reader.
For those using an iDevice, try the wireless download option using the Voice Dream app described here.
For additional help on reading and downloading NNELS titles using other devices please click here.
For downloading digital CELA titles, it is best to follow their provided tutorials as the process changes depending on your listening device. Find the full list of CELA tutorials here.
Patrons who prefer a physical disc can also request that any NNELS titles be transferred to disc and sent to their home library. An MP3 compatible CD Player is required. If you would like a disc to be made, please speak to your local librarian or email firstname.lastname@example.org.