Information for Parents

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 more than 200,000 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 your child if they had their own Braille display, if so visit our information on iPad and Braille reader (Orbit Reader 20) grants.

Learners and parents say ...

“RNIB Bookshare has been such a positive influence on him, he is bright, but was being held back by his access to the resources he needed.” Parent of GCSE student

“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

young girl sat outside in a sunny garden reading on a tablet

Here are the answers to some common questions we get asked by parents of children 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 your children in accessing the resources they 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

Is my child eligible to use RNIB Bookshare?

Watch our film and learn about the qualifying print-disabilities

How can I find out if my child's school are 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 child’s school won’t sign up, what can I do?

If you don't know whether your child's 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:
 • child's name
• school contact details
• your written permission for us to get in touch on your behalf
Please email us at: Bookshare@rnib.org.uk

How can my child and I use RNIB Bookshare at home?

Just ask your child’s school or college to set up a member account for your child and then they can log in anywhere, on the bus or at home.

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.

How can my child develop and use the website?

We have lots of fun reading for learners to discover!
We have created a fun reading area as a way for learners to discover their own age appropriate reading and finding books for themselves.  These pages can be used as a stepping stone in supporting learners to move from pre-selected reading lists to searching and browsing across our whole, big and scary catalogue of titles!
Either search by 'Awesome children’s author' or 'Brilliant children’s book series' to discover some great titles. Have fun!

What happens when my child changes class or school?

As long as your child is at the same school and has a qualifying print disability, they may continue to access RNIB Bookshare. It may be worth discussing this with your school SENco and class teacher.
When your child moves 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 your child is currently using the service to access their books independently. Please see above, regarding the question about school’s getting accounts.

My child is leaving school and will no longer be in education, can they still use RNIB Bookshare?

Once your child leaves school, college or university they 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 and/or your child has had a good experience using RNIB Bookshare, please consider giving us your story. It helps us to keep this valuable service free. Thank you