CELA looking for users to be on their advisory committee.

See below for a post from CELA about becoming involved in a user advisory group.  In order to do this, you must fill in a survey or contact them directly.

See below.

Are you interested in sharing your experiences and providing input to improve services for the print disabled community? CELA is now accepting applications for its new User Advisory Group! The group will meet 6-12 times a year with the goal of informing technology decisions and overall strategy of the organization and strengthening CELA services for all.  CELA is looking for input from a variety of users with a wide range of experiences and abilities. Appointments to the Advisory Group is for a two-year term and CELA asks that those applying meet the following criteria:


  • Willingness and ability to commit to the necessary time and effort required to contribute meaningfully to the group;
  • Commitment and interest in the future of CELA services, with that interest informed by personal or professional experience and an ability to balance local and regional perspectives;
  • Skills and experience related to previous work with community-based and/or cultural or library projects


CELA welcomes and encourages interested GTT members to apply for the group by completing theapplication form (SurveyMonkey) by Friday, December 2, 2016. For additional information, please read the Terms of Reference (Word) or email Michael Ciccone, Executive Director.

Reminder next Pembroke GTT meeting on Thursday March 3 from 10 AM to noon.

This message comes from Leona Emberson who coordinates the Pembroke Get Together with Technology (GTT) group.

Hello All, A reminder that we will be having our Monthly Pembroke GTT meeting at the Pembroke Public library on Thursday march 3 from 10-12 237 Victoria Street 613-732-8844. The Topic will be Books, Reading, and Library Services. A Librarian from the Pembroke Library will be joining us to  talk about local accessible library services and CELA, and Sally and I will talk about accessible book players.You will all share your tricks and tips for listening to and reading books. The love of reading does not have to stop when you lose vision, and for some the loss of sight becomes the kick off into a whole  new journey into the world of literature and books! So let’s talk books!


Reminder and Agenda for GTT Northern Ontario Teleconference January 21 7 PM Eastern. Agenda for the Northern Ontario GTT Conference call about CELA Library service and downloading direct to player books. Date: January 21 2015Time: 7 PM Eastern time. Call in info: 1-866-740-1260Passcode:5670311Guest Presenters Lindsay Tyler from CELAGerry Chevalier (GTT Edmonton)Hosted by Kim Kilpatrick (GTT Coordinator)Agenda:IntroductionsGuest speaker – Lindsay Tyler,From the Centre for Equitable Library Services (CELA) General information about CELA  How do people with vision loss sign up for CELA services?  Bookshare  Direct to Player option Questions and AnswersGerry Chevalier – guest speaker – Edmonton GTT group  Digital audio players   Demonstrate finding and downloading a Direct to Player book  Question and AnswersWe have the option of holding two sessions on this topic if there are a lot of questions about CELA.

Reminder of the national teleconference call for GTT on Wednesday March 11 at 7 PM Eastern. 

This is just a reminder of our national teleconference call on Wednesday March 11 at 7 PM eastern.  4 Pacific.  The topic will be a continuation of various services to help us read and access books.  In February, we discussed  CELA and this month we will talk about NELS. 

For notes on CELA, see earlier blog posts. 

If you want to be part of this call, we still have spaces. 

Call or email Kim at 



Kim will be sending out call in info to those registered on the day of the call. 

NOtes on CELA from our national teleconference on February 11, 2015.

More than 20 people attended this conference call.

We welcomed Margaret and Lindsay to tell us about the CELA service.

Margaret told us about the history of cela.

CNIB had been lobbying for many years to have accessible library service delivered through public libraries.

Other organizations of canadians who are blind or have low vision have also wanted this to happen.

It is a right for all Canadians to access library services in their communities..

Coming to a charity to obtain library services was inappropriate.  

Many studies were conducted.


In the end, the federal government asked CNIB to organize this service.

A report was produced called Reading Reimagined.

The report said that this service that should come through local public libraries.

In April of 2014, CELA (Centre for equitable library access) was launched.

As of February 2015, this service is available through over 600 public libraries in 1600 service points.

Most of these libraries are in Ontario, Alberta, and PEI.

There are also libraries in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and some in BC.

Libraries contribute funding to help the CELA service.

The list of participating libraries has been growing.

There were 25 thousand CNIB library clients prior to April 2014.  they are still able to use the service through 


They are encouraged to join CELA if they wish to do so.

They would then benefit also from services from their local public libraries.

The aim of CELA is to meet the needs of users across the spectrum of technical abilities and interests.  They can get Cd’s in the mail, download their own books, choose their own books, or get help choosing and selecting books.

There are currently 300 thousand titles in the collection.

90 thousand are from CELA.

200 thousand are through bookshare.

When you join CELA, you get an automatic membership to bookshare.

To find out more about bookshare itself, go to 



5000 titles were added to CELA in the last fiscal year.

The formats offered through CELA and bookshare include:

human narrated audio


hard copy braille

electronic braille


described video

electronic text

bookshare offers books in:

synthetic speech

electronic braille

and text 

Delivery options available

direct to player (this will allow books to go directly from the library to supported players.

At the time of this blog entry, (February 2015) the players include:

plextalk players

sold in CAnada by aroga technologies



Victor stratus and victor stream second generation (sold by Humanware)


Braille electronic (you must download these to a device or computer with braille display or talking book player that can support the brf format

hard copy braille

books on CD delivered through the mail

Download from a web site.

How to sign up for CELA

CELA is available to Canadians with a broad range of disabilities.

Any disability (learning, or physical) that makes it difficult for someone to read print can be eligible.

You would sign up through your local public library.

The books you access through CNIB and CELA are the same collections.

Local library staff have had some training about CELA.

If the library has questions or does not know about CELA, they should visit the CELA web site at 


To register for CELA, you need a public library card, proof of your address, fill out a registration form, and declare that you have trouble accessing or reading regular print.  You do not need a doctor’s form.  

CNIB staff can also assist you with finding out about CELA.

CAnnot search books from public library, CELA, or bookshare all in one place.

You must go to each site for their collections.

Some libraries are starting to enter CELA records into their catalogs.

In future, they might integrate all services into one place.

Every existing CNIB library client before april 2014 is also now a CELA client.

How can people advocate for their libraries to come to CELA?

Someone mentioned there is a good presentation about CELA on youtube.

In Ontario and Alberta, CELA funding is provided provincially for all of its municipal libraries.

CNIB will still be creating books in braille and audio formats.  CELA will not do that.

Here are some apps for I devices and android that work well with bookshare and CNIB library books.

For Iphone, the app voicedream reader which costs about $10 CAnadian is excellent and allows you to search and download bookshare books directly into the app.

It also works well with CNIB library books.

If people want, Kim could do a conference call on how to download these books to your iphone.

There is also an app called read2go which is about $20 and works with bookshare books.

On androi there is a free app called goread which allows you to download bookshare books directly onto  your device..

Posted by Kim Kilpatrick

GTT Coordinator

Reminder of teleconference tonight all about CELA and library services.

Reminder of our conference call tonight about CELA and the changes in library service.

Posted by Kim Kilpatrick

It is the second Wednesday of the month.

In future, we hope to hold a national conference call on this date every month.

If you have topic suggestions or guest speaker suggestions send them along.

For tonight, we will be having guest speakers from CNIB library and CELA.

I am re-posting the original announcement below.

For those who have already registered, thank you.

I will be sending you the call in info very soon.

There are still a few spaces left so contact me if you want to call in.

Please don’t call in without checking.

I am out teaching braille today so the best way to contact me is by e-mail at



Thank you..

Text from original post:

We will have a national conference call on Wednesday February 11 2015.

It will start at 7 Eastern time.

Here is some information about it.

Many GTT members have asked us about the CNIB library service and the new CELA service.

How does it work?

How are they different?

Are they different?

How can people access them?

So, we are  delighted to have Margaret McGrory, Vice President, Executive Director, CNIB Library and Lindsay Tyler, Manager, Centre for Equitable Library Access, joining us to answer your questions about the changes in library service..

Space will be limited so RSVP to Kim Kilpatrick to get the call in info.

If this is very popular, we will invite them to join us on another conference call.

Kim Kilpatrick