Launch of new library service provides accessible books to over three million Canadians with print disabilities

Article from Yahoo Finance

The Centre for Equitable Library Access officially launched its new national service which provides accessible library services and materials to Canadians with print disabilities. The announcement was made at the Canadian Library Association’s National Conference in Victoria, BC.

Over three million Canadians have a print disability. This could be a learning, physical or visual disability that prevents a person from reading conventional print.  For the 10 per cent of Canadians who have a print disability, access to reading materials in alternate formats like audio, braille and described video is often an ongoing challenge. Research shows that access to a broad range of reading materials has a direct and positive impact on a child’s success in school and in life.  CELA makes it possible for these Canadians to gain easy access to a wealth of reading materials, in formats of their choice, right in their own communities through their local public library.

CELA offers member public libraries:

  • A broad choice of formats including audio, braille, e-text and described video
  • Access to a growing collection of over 230,000 alternate format items including books, magazines, newspapers and described videos
  • Access to Bookshare, the world’s largest online library of accessible reading materials. Bookshare is an American organization that works with publishers to obtain new releases and back catalogues of their works. Bookshare books can be downloaded to a computer, mobile device such as a smartphone and tablet, or braille displays. Their catalogue is rapidly expanding, and all CELA members have access to more than 160,000 books.
  • A broad selection of genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s, young adult, business, self-help, poetry and more
  • A choice of delivery options: Direct download to computer, handheld devices and DAISY player; CD and braille mailed to home
  • Support for community outreach and summer reading programs
  • Training and expertise on accessibility
  • Bilingual collections and service

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