Since CELA was established almost 10 years ago, our primary goal has been to provide our users with choice both in the materials we offer and the ways they can read them. We are delighted to announce a new service which uses the Envoy Connect, a new audiobook player, to read CELA titles.
The Envoy Connect is a portable, affordable, and easy-to-use audiobook player. This device has a simple and intuitive layout and can hold at least 12 CELA titles. The Envoy Connect offers our users lots of flexibility in receiving their books.
- The Envoy Connect can be mailed to CELA to be reloaded with new titles. Mailing is free thanks to Canada Post’s Literature for the Blind program.
- It can also be reloaded at home with our new software, CELA Connect. This free software is simple, accessible, and does not require advanced computer skills, allowing users to get new books quickly and easily without having to wait for mail deliveries.
- Users can choose to use mail reloading, reloading with CELA Connect at home, or both, depending on their needs.
Laurie Davidson, CELA’s Executive Director says, “There is no doubt that the evolution of technology has made an enormous difference in the lives of so many of our users, but sometimes those changes come with a higher cost and a steeper learning curve. What I appreciate about the Envoy Connect is that it is unique in its simplicity. It is an affordable, flexible option for many of our users who just need an easy-to-use device for listening to audiobooks.”
The Envoy Connect was part of CELA’s Extended Delivery Options pilot program last year and was well received by the pilot participants. Since the pilot, CELA has developed systems to allow everyone to use the Envoy Connect service. The Envoy Connect player is now available for purchase in Canada through CNIB Smartlife. The anticipated cost will be approximately $100 per device.
“Our team has been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that using the Envoy Connect player with CELA materials is straight-forward and flexible. Our CELA Connect software allows CELA patrons to download books onto the player from home. Or users can send the Envoy Connect back to CELA in the mail to have it reloaded with new books” says Holly Pickering, CELA’s Project Coordinator. “People can begin by sending the player back to us, but if circumstances ever change, they can always try using the CELA Connect software to reload books at home. There’s no cost and there’s no long-term commitment required. There is a lot of flexibility in how our users can get their books for Envoy Connect.”
If you would like to try the Envoy Connect, we have a dedicated resource page on our website which includes:
- Our User Guide,
- A Quick Reference Guide,
- Audio Quick Start Guide,
- and Audio Demo.
We have also created a User Guide, Quick Reference Guide, Audio JAWS Guide, and Video Tutorial for CELA Connect, the software used to reload the Envoy Connect at home or in the library.
These documents will help users learn how to use the Envoy Connect player and the CELA Connect software. They contain information such as: a physical description of the Envoy Connect, layout of the CELA Connect software's windows and buttons, instructions on how to use the Envoy Connect and CELA Connect, as well as frequently asked questions and troubleshooting information.
“When we are asked about why choice is so important to our users, I think we can look back to the last few years. Whether it was mail service interruptions, or the unknown of the pandemic and its associated supply interruptions, what we heard from our users was just how important consistent access to books was for their wellbeing. The Envoy Connect is one more tool in our toolbox to help our users maintain that consistent access. It gives them another choice for how they would like to receive their books. And that choice is one of the many reasons we are excited to offer this new service,” says Laurie Davidson. “I hope those folks who are able to try the Envoy Connect will love it as much as we do.”