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Using NNELS With a Screen Reader

The National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) offers books in accessible formats to people with print disabilities. The NNELS website facilitates access to the repository and is fully accessible while using screen readers, which many Canadians with print disabilities use to access their devices.

The first part of this guide will walk screen reader users through finding and downloading books from the NNELS website using the Windows and Mac operating systems. JAWS and NVDA will be covered for Windows users, and VoiceOver will be discussed for MacOS users. Google Chrome on Windows and Safari on MacOS were the web browsers used while writing this guide. You may encounter slight differences if you use another browser, but most of this guide’s contents should apply to any accessible browser.

The second part of this guide will cover how to read a book downloaded from NNELS. It will list options for reading on a Windows, Mac, or iOS device. Several apps will be outlined for each platform, providing an overview, instructions for opening and reading a book, and some pros and cons for each app. All apps included are known to be accessible using JAWS and NVDA on Windows and VoiceOver on MacOS and iOS.

Note: You must have an NNELS account to access the repository of books. The only exception is the “Always Available” section, which is open to everyone with or without an account. This guide assumes you already have one and does not cover how to sign up for NNELS.

There are instructions available on how to sign up for an NNELS account.

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