Library Accessibility News

Hippocampe all terrain wheelchair


Cape Breton Regional Library is offering loan of a Hippocampe wheelchair so you can get on the beach, trails, and parks. How to borrow Starting June 1st …
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The C-Pen ReaderPen, a text-to-speech pen, is being used to scan and read text in a printed book.

Text-to-Speech C-Pen ReaderPen

The C-Pen ReaderPen is a portable, text-to-speech scanning aid that reads printed text out loud using an embedded camera, real-time optical character recognition (OCR) and …
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Your Way to Keep Reading

Your Way to Keep Reading

CBRL has partnered with Victoria County Home Support Services to create age-friendly reading kits to introduce readers to new ways to keeping reading books. This …
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Accessibility Statement

We aspire for our libraries to be welcoming, inclusive, and accepting public spaces to all people. Through this work, all Nova Scotians will have full and equitable access to spaces, services, resources, programs, and employment/volunteer opportunities offered by public libraries.

Accessibility Plan

The Interregional Advisory Committee for Library Accessibility (IACLA) is proud to release the multi-year IACLA Accessibility Plan for six regional libraries, including Cape Breton Regional Library.

Library-Accessibility-Plan 2022 (PDF) Download.

Website Accessibility

At CBRL, we know that the online experience we create needs to be welcoming and inclusive to people with a wide range of abilities. This includes those who rely on assistive technology to access online services, in addition to individuals with cognitive and digital-literacy challenges.

We strive to maintain compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level AA on our website. This is an ongoing process. Some of our efforts include:

  • Our website team includes accessibility and usability criteria for any new design feature or improvements to existing features.
  • Staff contributing website and social media content are provided guidelines and training on how to ensure content is accessible.
  • Text Equivalents — We are working to ensure that images are accessible to people who use screen readers and other assistive technology by using appropriate alternative text.
  • Site Structure — We are working to ensure that appropriate headings are used so that people can use the site with assistive technology.
  • Keyboard Access — Improving keyboard access for non-mouse input devices.

Our website is always evolving and we hope to continue to make the site more user-friendly and accessible for everyone. We welcome feedback on how we can make improvements. Please send any feedback on website accessibility to

Accessible Collections for Print Disabilities

CBRL offers a variety of reading materials for people who find it difficult to read standard print books.

What is a Print Disability?

 A print disability is defined 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.

Formats Available

Our Library Branches have a wide range of materials in alternate formats including:


As a Library member with a print disability, you can register to borrow accessible items from the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) and National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS).

Many of the books available through CELA and NNELS are in DAISY format. DAISY is an audiobook format books that can be played on DAISY CD Players or Digital Daisy Players which can be borrowed from the library. There are also apps available for iOS and Android devices which will play these files.

Additional Formats available include:

  • Accessible EPUB which can be read by Braille display or listened to via text-to-speech apps.
  • Electronic Braille which can be read by Braille display
  • Hard Copy Braille


The CELA Collection includes more than 450,000 items on a range of subjects and genres for all ages—all professionally-produced for people with print disabilities. There are French and English options, and a special focus on Canadian titles and First Nations literature.


You are eligible to borrow from the CELA Collection, if you’re a Library member with a print disability and you live within Cape Breton or Victoria County.


You can register by visiting us in person at any of our locations and self-identifying as a person with a print disability. You can also self-register online. You will need to have your library card number to register. CELA will confirm your registration and give you access to the collection within 5 business days. Proof of disability (CNIB card or doctor’s note) is required to access some of CELA’s collections. Please inform library staff if you have registered for CELA and did not receive a welcome email or phone call from them.

How it works

Once you are registered for CELA, you can borrow items designed specifically for people with print disabilities including:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Described videos

Most CELA Collection titles can be downloaded. You can read using DAISY-formatted audio, e-Text, described videos, and braille. You can read more about compatible devices and software on the CELA website.

CELA’s Direct-to-Player service allows for automatic downloading of titles to apps available on iOS and Android devices, as well as WiFi enabled DAISY reading devices.

CELA also offers their own home delivery service so you can receive books on CD in the mail.

Help & Troubleshooting

If you have questions or need support, call any of our locations or call CELA directly at 1-855-655-2273.


NNELS is a growing collection of downloadable audiobooks and other accessible formats available for people with print disabilities.

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 to CDs.

Cape Breton Regional Library already has made many NNELS titles available on DAISY-CDs, find out what is currently available on DAISY-CDs.

For more titles registered users can log into the NNELS website to see all NNELS titles.

Required Forms

To begin using NNELS, one of the following forms must be printed, completed, and returned to a library branch.

Help and Troubleshooting Guides

Equipment to Borrow

Available equipment includes:

Bookmobile Service & Seniors Facilities

The Cape Breton Regional Library Bookmobile visits rural parts of CBRM and Victoria County. Some residential care facilities and assisted living facilities are also visited by the bookmobile. Email the bookmobile or phone 902-562-3279 to inquire about bookmobile service.