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An Update on NNELS’ Services During COVID-19

Thursday, April 2, 2020

With the impact of COVID-19, the reading needs of people are high, and NNELS is committed to our mission of providing reading opportunities for people with print disabilities during this difficult time.

**Update (April 23, 2020): NNELS has gathered together a list of freely available reading and other resources that might be useful to people with print disabilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic (and beyond)!**

NNELS Services

In recognition of the needs of people with print disabilities in Canada during this time,we have opened up NNELS to all library sites across Canada allowing people from non-funding jurisdictions to register and make use of NNELS’ collections. If you would like to register for an account, please begin by searching for your library on the NNELS site, contacting your nearest librarian, or dropping us a line.

We have seen an increase in usage with more people at home. We are doing our best to answer all of your questions, but there may be a delay in our services as we adjust to the new demand.

User Requests & Accessible Format Production

Due to the COVID-19 shutdowns of some of our human-narrated audiobook providers, there may  be a delay on the creation of books that have requested human narration. We are looking into alternatives on how best to resume this service, including our volunteer opportunity below.

We are still able to produce titles in EPUB or DAISY format using synthetic voice.

Volunteer opportunities

Are you looking for a way to volunteer in your own home during COVID-19? Do you enjoy reading out loud?  Have access to a basic home recording set up? Want to help provide access to books for people with print disabilities?  If yes, then we would love to hear from you! Apply to volunteer as an audiobook narrator to help us fulfill user requests.

COVID-19: Accessible Information

As the COVID-19 situation unfolds in Canada and around the world, news sites, public health agencies, universities and other organizations are publishing charts and graphs to explain data in easy to understand ways such as the flattening the curve model and the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, people with print disabilities or individuals with slower internet connections are generally left out of the loop since these images are inaccessible to assistive technologies or cannot load properly due to a lack of bandwidth. NNELS believes that this information should be accessible to everyone. In order to fill this gap, we are providing this information in alternative accessible formats such as text descriptions andsonifications(audio versions of graphs) by producing some key charts/graphs and linking to other resources with accessible information.

Check out our accessible information page on COVID-19, here.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!