Information for students

Are you a student in education and have a print disability? If so, read on!

At RNIB Bookshare we support learners with a print disability to access the curriculum, putting them, for the first time on a par with their peers, creating an inclusive environment in education. 

How?

We provide accessible textbooks and resources for learners with sight loss, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism and qualifying physical disabilities under the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Disability) Regulations 2014. 
Titles can be downloaded by (and on behalf of)  learners who can read them electronically or adapt into various accessible formats (PDF, Word, DAISY, audio, BRF). The service is available to learners and their parents through the child's school gaining membership. We are completely free to all UK education organisations and currently reach over 6,800 schools, colleges, universities and sensory support services across the UK
We work with over 700 publishers & imprints and have many thousands  of accessible curriculum and leisure titles, as well as over 3,000 accessible large print and tactile images for the curriculum and general interest. We also process book requests on demand from educators and learners. 

Other support

Many learners benefit from using an iPad to read electronically , using inbuilt accessiblity tools. Maybe it would really help you if you had your own Braille display or iPad. Iif so visit our information on iPad and Braille reader (Orbit Reader 20) grants.

Students with a print disability say ...

"It would have been almost impossible if I didn't have RNIB Bookshare. I'm doing my GCSEs and being able to come home and revise independently ... has been a massive help for me and fingers crossed, it can improve my grades." Charlie, age 16

“I spent the majority of my first term suffering in silence, reading all my resources by eye, getting tired, frustrated and spending a lot of time trying to read. Bookshare was my saviour, I was able to download PDF text versions which were compatible with my text to speech software.” University graduate

learner sat at a table listening to his iPad wearing headphones
Here are the answers to some common questions we get asked by students who want access to resources on RNIB Bookshare.
We want to make getting access to our service as easy as possible for learners that need it. We hope that our service will be valuable to you in accessing the resources you need for school, college or university.
Please contact us if you have any questions that we have not answered here at: bookshare@rnib.org.uk

Questions

Am I eligible to use RNIB Bookshare?

Watch our film and learn about the qualifying print-disabilities.

How can I find out if my educational organisation is already using RNIB Bookshare?

Contact your school and check with your SENcO (Special education needs co-ordinator), Librarian or Teaching Assistant. If no one knows, just drop us and email and we can let you know.

My educational organisation won’t sign up, what can I do?

If you don't know whether your school has an RNIB Bookshare account, or you can’t seem to get them to sign up, please email us with the following details and we will contact the school for you.
We’ll let them know what we are, that we are free and give them some information on how to join and add their learners.

Information needed:

  • Your name
  • educational organisational contact details
  • your written permission for us to get in touch on your behalf
Please email us at: Bookshare@rnib.org.uk

How can I use RNIB Bookshare at home?

Just ask your school or college to set up a member account for you, then you’ll be able to log in anytime, anywhere!

Are we allowed to download books at home?

Yes, we suggest that school/college staff create reading lists for learners to make finding the curriculum titles that they are using easy. You can download these titles as the school will have ensured that they have an original copy of the book.
Learners can also search and browse across the site to identify other titles that will help, or they are interested in.

How can we read at home?

We think that reading on an electronic device at home is a great way to access our titles on RNIB Bookshare. Using either a tablet or phone (Apple or Android) Dolphin EasyReader app is a perfect way to read.
If you don’t have a device to read on, your child  may be eligible for one of our iPad/ Orbit 20 Braille display grants.

Can we read our own choice of titles to read for fun?

It depends. If you are downloading files, and then reading them without making any changes to the file (such as reading the file electronically on a tablet, PC or phone using access technology) then you can download a title without owning the original version.
If you are making any changes to the file, then you may download the file as long as you have lawful possession of the title (own a paper or electronic version of the title). More information can be found on our legal pages.

What happens when I change school, college, uni?

As long as you are at the same educational organisation and you have a qualifying print disability, then you may continue to access RNIB Bookshare.
When you move onto another educational establishment, we would suggest that you contact them in advance to check whether they have an account with us, letting them know that you are currently RNIB Bookshare to access your books independently. Please see above, regarding the question about organisation’s getting accounts.

I am leaving school and will no longer be in education, can I still use RNIB Bookshare?

Once you leave school, college or university you are no longer eligible to use RNIB Bookshare. Membership is accessed via an educational establishment only.
We recommend RNIB Library for a wonderful range of reading to suit anyone with sight loss.

And finally …

If you have had a good experience using RNIB Bookshare, please consider giving us your story. It helps us to keep this valuable service free. Thank you