The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) offers a service called Bookshare, which is a database of books in alternative formats that are accessible to registered students with a print disability.  This allows users to search to see if items that we have within our Library collection are available in an alternative format.

The RNIB use the definition for a print disability from The Copyright and Related Rights (Marrakesh Treaty etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 . 

Who qualifies for a request an RNIB Bookshare account?

Registered students on any type of programme (e.g. undergraduate, postgraduate, doctorate) with the following print disabilities can register for the RNIB Bookshare service through Library Services:

  • Blind and partially sighted (visual): If you have a visual impairment that cannot be improved for reading purposes using corrective lenses (e.g. glasses).
  • Learning disabilities: If you are unable to read print effectively due to dyslexia or other cognitive learning disabilities such as autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Physical Disability: If you are unable to hold or manipulate a book due to a physical disability.

What formats are the books available in?

Titles are available in a range of accessible formats including:

  • PDF
  • Word
  • Audio
  • BRF

Will you pass my details to the RNIB?

All accounts are anonymised so that no one at the RNIB will be able to identify you unless you contact them directly and provide them with information. The Digitisation Services Team in the Main Library, who manage the RNIB Bookshare account on behalf of the University, will keep the following information in an Excel file:

  • your name
  • email address
  • University ID number
  • Bookshare username and password
  • category of disability (visual, learning or physical). This information will be deleted within 30 days as we only need it to create your account.

Only the Digitisation Service Team members have access to the Excel file and that will be held securely within the University network.  This information will be checked once per year and anyone who has since left the University will have their RNIB Bookshare account deleted, and their information removed from the Excel file after a seven-year period.

How do I register for a RNIB Bookshare account?

The Digitisation Team in the Main Library manage the RNIB Bookshare account on behalf of the University.  If you meet the qualifying criteria above, please complete the online registration form. The data collected on this form will be processed in accordance with our Data Protection Policy. Please contact Library Services if you have any queries or need to change or amend your details.

Where can I find further information about RNIB Bookshare and how to use it?

The RNIB Bookshare website has lots of useful videos on who can use Bookshare, what it includes, and how to make the most out of the service once you have an account.


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