What is a print disability?

The Canadian Copyright Act defines a print disability as:

  • Severe or total impairment of sight or the inability to focus or move one’s eyes
  • The inability to hold or manipulate a book
  • An impairment relating to comprehension


Halifax Public Libraries seeks to create social equality, a concept realized through ensuring access for all individuals. 

We are pleased to offer the following resources for individuals with print disabilities:

CELA (Centre for Equitable Library Access)

CELA is a national not-for-profit organization run by public libraries for public libraries. CELA’s vision is to provide equitable public library services for Canadians with print disabilities, and its mission is to support public libraries in the provision of accessible collections for Canadians with print disabilities and to champion the fundamental right of Canadians with print disabilities to access media and reading materials in the format of their choice, including audio, braille, e-text, and described video.

What does CELA offer?

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Described videos

You can read using DAISY-formatted audio, e-Text, described videos, and braille. Click here to read about compatible devices and software.

What are the benefits of the CELA service?
Like you, Halifax Public Libraries believes everyone should have free access to reading materials in the format of their choice. The CELA service provides:

  • Full range of subjects and genres to reach all ages
  • Free access to over 450,000 titles
  • Professionally produced materials
  • French and English options
  • Special focus on Canadian titles and First Nations literature
  • Physical and digital delivery service
  • Bookshare is an affiliated collection Canadian readers can access through CELA

Who is eligible to use CELA?
To have access to the CELA Collection, you need to fulfill all of the following criteria:

  • Halifax Public Libraries member
  • Resident of Halifax municipality
  • Person with a print disability

How do I register for CELA?
Accessing the CELA Collection is easy.

As with all Library services, registering for the CELA Collection is free.

Please note: CELA will confirm your registration and give you access to the collection within five (5) business days.

Does CELA offer home-delivery?
Most CELA Collection titles are available for download, but CELA also offers home-delivery. Our Direct-to-Player service allows for automatic downloading of titles to apps available on IOS and Android devices and Wi-Fi enabled DAISY reading devices.

Halifax Public Libraries and CELA offer remote and in-person support. Call your local Library or call CELA at 1-855-655-2273.



NNELS (National Network for Equitable Library Service) is a growing collection of downloadable audiobooks and other accessible formats provided for use by persons with print disabilities. Nova Scotia Public Libraries are pleased to provide this new service to library customers in our communities.

What devices are compatible with NNELS?
NNELS titles can be used on a wide variety of devices, including computers/ laptops, Ipads, Iphones, Android devices, MP3 players, DAISY readers, and can also be burned on CDs

How can I get registered to start using NNELS?
If you meet the criteria for having a print disability as defined above, you will need to complete a Self-Declaration form at your local library. If you are unable to complete the form, you may have a “competent authority” complete it for you. You will then be assigned a library barcode and PIN with a “patron type” that will allow you to access the materials via the NNELS website: https://nnels.ca
The website also has tutorials on downloading NNELS titles and other useful information.

Already registered? Log in with your library card.