Did you know?

  • Print disabilities affect approximately 10% of the Canadian population
  • According to the Copyright Act (section 32), a print disability is: a learning, physical or visual disability that impairs a person from reading conventional print.

Alberta public libraries that participate in the network have access to resources that respond to the needs of people with print disabilities. The province, through PLSB, funds access to the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) for public libraries. Alberta is the only province currently implementing both NNELS and CELA, the two national strategies developed to help public libraries serve people with print disabilities. These two organizations offer unique, but complementary, services.

NNELS is a co-operative network building an online digital repository of alternative format titles. NNELS offers its users a record-on-demand service, where the organization records material requested by users.

CELA gives public libraries access to 230,000 alternative format titles for provision to library patrons in a variety of formats. Available collections include audio books, magazines, newspapers, and described video in the patron's format of choice.

The Library Service for People with Print Disabilities Operational Policy establishes principles and guidelines for the effective selection of resources to help support Alberta public libraries serve patrons with print disabilities.

As per the Libraries Regulation, public library boards in Alberta are required to create and implement local policy on Provision of Resources for Those Unable to use Conventional Print. For a sample, click here.

Symposium on Public Library Service for People with Print Disabilities

On February 26-27, 2015 the Public Library Service Branch hosted a province-wide Symposium on Public Library Service for People with Print Disabilities. Fifty participants from across Alberta attended and spent the two days immersed in discussion about these services. Guests included librarians, service providers, and people with print disabilities. For an overview of the symposium click here.