Why is CELA piloting this project?
With COVID and other external events like postal service interruptions, we have seen how important it is for our users to have variety of service options. As some technology, like CDs, become less available and more expensive, our team has been working on finding new options which can meet the needs of all our users.
How do I sign up to be a participant?
In our initial recruiting phase CELA will be reaching out by phone or email to users based on their demographics and reading preferences. If you are interested in joining, please fill out the Pilot project sign up form. While we’d love to include everyone, we will be selecting patrons to ensure we hire from a diverse range of people.
Who will contact me about participating in the pilot?
CELA Contact Centre staff will be reaching out to patrons by phone, we will also send invitations by email.
Can I decline to participate?
Absolutely. Participation is completely voluntary but we do hope you will consider helping us learn more what users like you think about these player options.
What about privacy concerns?
Specific information about privacy for each delivery method will be provided to pilot participant before enrolling them in the pilot.
If I become a participant will CELA help me learn about the player before I try it?
Yes. While the specifics for the training will be based on the player you are testing, in general, CELA will provide pilot participants with training material as part of the package they receive.
Participants will also be able to contact our Peer Trainers who are available to support participants.
What if I need help with the player during the pilot?
Peer Trainers have been hired to assist pilot participants with any of their questions. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-855-655-2273, choose Option 3 for Envoy Connect and Smart Speaker Pilot, and they will return your call or email within 2 business days.
If I already have a smart speaker, can I use that as part of the pilot?
We will be able to provide new smart speaker devices to participants, but if you are interested in participating and have one of the smart speakers we are piloting, then you would be welcome to use that if you are selected as a pilot participant.
What if I don’t have a smart speaker but want to participate in that part of the project?
CELA will have smart speakers available for use during the pilot for participants who want to participate in this portion of the pilot program and who meet our demographic profile.
Can I keep the device I use during the pilot program?
Participants who test the Envoy Connect or the smart speakers will be able to keep their device if they choose.
Participants using the DAISY player model must return them to CELA because they are only prototypes and not intended for ongoing use.
If I participate in the pilot can I return to my regular device at any time?
We will do everything we can to support pilot participants in completing the full pilot timeframe. If issues arise that are unresolvable or the participant’s circumstances change, we will be happy to return our users to their previous players.
What if I don’t like the option I am testing?
We want to hear about what you think of the option, whether you like it or not. All feedback is valuable and will be considered. If you are having technical issues or difficulty using your option, our Peer Trainers are available to assist you and to take your feedback. We do ask participants to try the device so that they can provide feedback.
Will I be compensated as a pilot participant?
CELA will not be paying participants for their time. However in most cases, participants will be able to keep their device, with our thanks.
Can I choose which device I test?
CELA is recruiting participants based in part on their profile and their reading preferences. If we need additional participants we may issue a broader invitation to our users through emails or newsletters. If you would like to be considered for a device, please watch for an invitation in your email or in our newsletter. Because of the parameters of our pilot we cannot guarantee that everyone who would like to participate will be chosen for the pilot, but we appreciate your offer to help!
Can I have more information about the players being tested so I can choose?
Envoy Connect is a compact, easy to use and accessibly priced audiobook player. Books can be loaded by returning the device to CELA, or by using a computer with internet access and free CELA Connect software. In the future public libraries may also be able to help by reloading books on the devices.
The Envoy Connect comes equipped with a solar panel to charge the battery so you can take your audiobooks with you wherever you go! Vision Australia and its patrons have been successfully using Envoy Connect for more than a year.
DAISY Player with reloadable digital storage
This is a prototype DAISY player that uses reloadable digital storage to load books and offers is a great alternative to CDs. This player is easy to use, with tactile buttons and other accessibility features, and improved battery life.
Voice Assistant Option
The third option, which uses voice assistant technology, commonly known as a smart speaker and will be tested later in the pilot project. More information will be available on this soon.
When will these technologies be available for everyone?
We will be providing updates about our pilot and what our users can expect throughout the project. Once we have completed the pilot and evaluated the results to determine the best option or options, we will provide more information about when these devices will be available more broadly
Can I buy these devices and use them with CELA now?
The pilot is designed to allow us to test these devices and their interaction with our system with a small group. We are not set up for widespread use but this pilot will help us develop that capacity. Some of the devices, like the DAISY player are still only prototypes. Other devices are commercially available but we caution all our users not to buy items like an Envoy Connect or smart speaker for use with CELA services until we complete our pilot and assessment. We can’t guarantee when or if these devices will be supported by CELA services until we complete the evaluation.
What is the timeline for this project?
In early December CELA will begin recruiting participants for the first two devices we are testing, the Envoy Connect and the HumanWare player.
Beginning in January, participants will receive their players for testing.
In January we will begin recruiting for the smart speaker pilot.
Throughout the pilot we will be gathering feedback from participants by phone and email.
The pilot will conclude on March 31, 2022.
In the spring CELA will update our users and member libraries about the result of the pilot and our plans going forward.
Why is CELA piloting this project?
With COVID-19 and other external events like postal service interruptions, we have seen how important it is for our users to have variety of service options. As some technology, like CDs, become less available and more expensive, our team has been working on finding new options which can meet the needs of many of our users.
Will CELA continue to offer existing formats like physical braille, and CDs?
Yes. This pilot is evaluating new options for audiobook delivery. Our goal is to offer our users even more choice in how they receive and read our titles.
How can you afford this if your federal government funding is being cut?
The funding for this pilot project comes from a one-time grant. These funds are separate from the federal government funds which support the production of accessible reading materials and it does not impact our budget for the production of accessible reading materials. We continue to advocate for sustainable funding for production of accessible reading material.
Why are you testing 3 options at the same time?
Piloting 3 options at the same time allows us to effectively leverage the resources we have received to hire staff and develop a structured process to gather feedback. That feedback can be compared across devices to help us make the best decisions about which options will work best for our users.
What is the process for the pilot and how many users will be involved?
We anticipate more than 200 users will participate in the pilot project.
How will you know if the pilot is a success? What if none of the option work well?
We are looking forward to getting feedback from our users about their experiences with these options. CELA has been planning this pilot for quite some time and we have done considerable research with libraries around the world who have already successfully implemented new delivery options like the ones we are testing. We are working closely with our partners on this project including Vision Australia which already uses the Envoy Connect, with HumanWare, and with the organization that is developing the smart speaker software.
During the pilot we will be gathering feedback and tracking interaction with participants, as well as continuing to test our internal processes. All of the information we gather will help us make the decision about how to move forward.
Will the pilot require changes to the website?
The website will stay essentially the same. There will be adjustments made behind the scenes to allow for delivery for these new options but they will not affect current users who are not participating in the pilot.
Have you considered braille only users in this pilot?
The focus of this particular project is to evaluate options for users who use audiobooks. We are committed to braille and will continue to watch for new opportunities to support our users who read braille.
Will CELA be providing these devices for free going forward?
We are able to provide players to those participating in the pilot but we will not be providing them for free to all our users after the pilot.
How will we learn more about this project and its outcomes?
At the conclusion of the pilot, CELA will provide information about the feedback we have received and our plans going forward. Watch our newsletter, social media channels and this website for updates.