Accessible Formats

Creator: National Network for Equitable Library Service

Date Updated: January 28, 2022

The National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) provides an online repository for library patrons with print disabilities. NNELS works with organizations, libraries, and publishers to create accessible books. The accessible book formats available in NNELS are listed in this accessibility resource.

Quick Facts

  • The accessibility of each book format varies depending on how they were made. The formats in the NNELS repository include:
    • EPUB is the most accessible format (if appropriately made). It can be read with a Braille display, on a larger screen display or with an easy-to-read font and use text-to-speech functionality. EPUB is an HTML-based, platform-independent ebook format and is readable with any e-reading software.
    • DAISY (Digital Accessible Information SYstem) is a specialized format for people with print disabilities (but EPUB has now replaced it).
    • MP3 Audio is a live narration format compatible with almost any device and app (which can play audio MP3 audiobooks).
    • DOC/DOCX books are in Microsoft Word format but can be opened in many different programs. This format allows readers to enlarge the print, change the colours, and is amenable to text-to-speech.
    • RTF (Rich Text Format) is a text format that most word processing programs can read.
    • PDF is popular, especially if the reader wants the digital book to look like the print version. PDFs often come from publishers, and accessibility can vary.
    • BRF (Braille Ready Files) is a format that renders contracted UEB Braille code onto a Braille display.

Visit the NNELS Format web page

Reference

The National Network for Equitable Library Service (2019). Formats. Web page. Retrieved from: https://nnels.ca/help/formats