This post accompanies the presentation “Addressing Student Diversity Through Accessible Educational Materials” at the 2016 LCEEQ conference in Laval, QC on February 9th.
In this session we discuss accessible print resources that are available to teachers and students. One of the resources mentioned is CELA (Centre for Equitable Library Access), a virtual library for Canadians with print disability.
What is a print disability? According to the Canadian Copyright Act (Section 32):
“A print disability is a learning, physical or visual disability that prevents a person from reading conventional print.
More specifically, a print disability can be a:
Learning disability: An impairment relating to comprehension.
Physical disability: The inability to hold or manipulate a book.
Visual disability: Severe or total impairment of sight or the inability to focus or move one’s eyes.”
Students in our school boards with a print disability can access free membership to CELA’s virtual library by submitting an application. CELA works in collaboration with Bibliotheque et Archives nationales (BANQ) and the Service québécois du livre adapté (SQLA) to provide students with free membership. Students then have access to early chapter books, novels, poetry, and other texts in accessible formats (DAISY Text, DAISY Audio MP3, and some accessible PDFs). Teachers can apply on behalf of their students, or the student’s family can do so. In addition, once membership to CELA is accepted, students can have additional access to Bookshare, a larger virtual library with 250,000 titles in accessible formats.
Membership information for students is available through the SQLA.
*Important: Be sure to indicate that the student would like additional access to CELA services with their SQLA membership. Bookshare is then made available through CELA once membership is accepted.