Services for Print Disabled Patrons

How can I assist a patron with a Print Disability?

Patrons with print disabilities have access to two services which have been created to ensure equitable access to materials:

Both services are free-of-charge for patrons with print disabilities. Patrons may wish to access the services of both CELA & NNELS.

What is a print disability?

A person with a print disability is any person who is unable to read standard print materials. Print disabilities may be permanent or temporary. Both CELA and NNELS define print disability according to the Canadian Copyright Act, which defines "perceptual disabilities" as including:

  • 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

What's the difference between CELA and NNELS?

  • Physical & digital collection of books & magazines in audio, e-text; braille; newspapers in e-text; described videos; children's pictures books with braille added. Includes French content.
  • Delivery to patrons via direct download to computer, mobile or DAISY device or mail-delivery of audio CDs, braille or described movies.
  • Deposit collections available.
  • Digital collection of downloadable audiobooks includes popular fiction and non-fiction. Some young adult; children's material.
  • Predominantly DAISY audio; some e-braille; e-text.
  • Delivery to patrons via direct download to a computer, mobile or DAISY device.
  • Titles selected/created based on reader demand.

How do I register a patron for CELA?

  • Patrons self-register for CELA online at
  • Upon request, library staff fill out the registration form on which asks for contact information, preferred reading format and delivery (online or mail), etc.
  • Once registered, patrons can access and request materials independently.

How do I register a patron for NNELS?

  • Patrons must request print disabled services registration at their local library.
  • Upon request, patrons must be assigned the "Print Disabled" patron code in their library patron record. Once updated, they can sign into the NNELS website using their library barcode and PIN.
  • Some libraries may require patrons to complete a self-declaration form before providing access to NNELS.

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