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Accessible Textbooks and Course Materials

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Access to post-secondary education opens a world of possibilities for personal and professional development. However, textbooks and course materials rarely available in accessible formats, creating a significant barrier for students with disabilities. As a result, many students who are blind or partially sighted are at risk of falling behind because they encounter lengthy and/or costly delays with gaining equitable access to information. 

Are you a student with sight loss at a post-secondary institution? Are you encountering barriers with accessing your textbook or course materials in an accessible format? CNIB can help. 

It’s important your instructor and your institution understand you require textbooks and course materials in accessible formats. Before reaching out to CNIB, please ensure you’ve taken the following self-advocacy steps: 

  • Inform your professor or instructor understands you require textbooks and course materials in accessible formats. Explain what you need in as much detail as possible and ask for clear timelines as to when you can expect the materials. 
  • If you encounter barriers with your professor or instructor, contact the college or university’s accessibility services office. 
  • Review CNIB's Know Your Rights website. You’ll find plain language legal information and resources for many provinces that empower people who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind to better understand their rights. 
Connect with us

If you have exhausted these avenues, contact CNIB’s advocacy team by filling out this form. This will take you approximately 10 minutes to complete, and one of our Advocacy Leads will follow up with you to develop a plan.

Form – CNIB Accessible Course Material Information 

If you need our help to fill out this form, or have other questions, reach out! Call us at 1-833-GET-A11Y (1-833-438-2119).

CNIB will continue to work with post-secondary institutions to ensure that students with sight loss have access to their textbooks and course materials, in an accessible format, without delay. Canada's colleges and universities, as well as the publishing industry, have an obligation to ensure that youth with sight loss are receiving literature, course content and textbooks, without jeopardizing their academic success. No student with sight loss should be receiving their textbooks or course materials days before an exam.