Updates on CELA services during COVID-19 pandemic
Current status of CELA services
Update as of January 31 2021: Physical CD and braille services are continuing as usual at this time. However, we understand that Canada Post may be experiencing some service delays. If you receive physical materials via Canada Post, we ask for your continued patience.
We will also continue to offer temporary registrations for those who are unable to safely access their libraries due to Covid. If you have recently received a request to provide a library card number in order to register, but are unable due to local library service interruptions, or health concerns related to Covid, please be assured that your CELA service will continue and we will communicate with you about providing a library card number when the situation improves.
Update as of April 16 2021: We are continuing to distribute reading materials by mail and online, despite the COVID-related lockdown in Ontario. We continue to apply strict safety measures and are monitoring the situation closely.
November 23 2020: Our production and distribution processes continue unaffected and on schedule, despite the Covid-related lockdown in the Toronto area. We are hopeful that additional Covid-related restrictions will not be necessary but we are monitoring the situation closely.
August 28 2020: We are pleased to begin sending printbraille books to you again and we hope that you enjoy these books! As we work to combat the spread of COVID-19, we want to inform you about the measures we are taking to ensure your safety. For more information, see the FAQ section on printbraille.
June 2 2020: As part of phase 1 of the Province of Ontario’s reopening strategy, CELA has resumed the production and distribution of CDs and embossed braille effective June 1. We expect that it will take us 7 to 10 business days to serve outstanding requests and return to our regular service schedule.
How is CELA ensuring staff and patrons remain safe during COVID-19
We take the health of our patrons and staff very seriously. We recognize that many of our patrons have health conditions which put them at greater risk of potential complications from COVID-19, and we are following the directives of public health and Health Canada.
Each audio CD and physical braille book is produced specifically for one patron and is not recirculated, so there is no potential for transmission between patrons.
Our production process is highly automated and requires minimal handling by staff. We have also implemented enhanced health and safety procedures to further minimize any risk:
- All staff who are handling materials are using appropriate personal protective equipment, and physical workspaces and processes have been adjusted to ensure work is being done in the safest manner possible for patrons and staff.
- Staff who are unwell are required to stay home.
- Our production facility is undergoing daily thorough cleanings.
We will continue to review these procedures and we commit to informing patrons as we learn more, or as we adjust our response.
Is CELA distributing printbraille?
We are pleased to begin sending printbraille books to you again and we hope that you enjoy these books! As we work to combat the spread of COVID-19, we want to inform you about the measures we are taking to ensure your safety.
Our safety measures
Based on medical and scientific advice and the best practices being implemented in public libraries, we have taken a number of measures to ensure safety for you and for the staff handling printbraille books. Staff are equipped with personal protective equipment, are not permitted to work if sick, are trained in and practicing proper hygiene, and their workspaces and processes have been re-arranged to ensure physical distancing.
In addition, printbraille books will be quarantined for a minimum of 96 hours between users.
What you can do to help
Please do not try to wash, wipe or disinfect the books. Disinfection is not necessary and you may damage the books permanently.
If you are concerned about any possible contamination via the postal system, as an added safety measure you may wish to quarantine these materials in your home for 24 hours before handling them.
If you have any questions or wish to make changes to your account, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-855-655-2273.
Will I receive the books I placed on hold just after the end of March?
Yes. If you placed holds on CDs or braille, they will be sent out as part of your regular service. Holds are served from oldest to most recent, so it may take time before you receive materials requested since March. If you require a specific book more quickly, for example for a book club, please contact us.
I was supposed to receive some books just after you shut down and they never arrived, will they still come in the mail?
Yes. There was a small backlog of books that were not sent out after we had to suspend mail deliveries, but these will be sent in early June.
I started to use the Direct to Player service and I would like to continue using it. Do I need to let CELA know to stop sending me CDs?
Your Direct to Player service will continue as normal and you shouldn’t receive any CDs. If you do, please contact email@example.com to stop your CD service.
What options are available if physical braille and CDs are not available?
A wide variety of materials are available in audio, e-text and ebraille.
With new technologies and free apps like Dolphin EasyReader, our digital services are easier to access than ever before. We have developed a simple Guide to going digital with tips and tutorials to get you started and our Contact Centre can answer questions.
Should I continue to return CDs to CELA?
Yes, you may return the CDs as normal. Delivery options
Can I share the books I get from CELA and Bookshare?
No. The perceptual disabilities exception to copyright laws allows CELA to offer books in accessible formats and it states that only those with a print disability can use accessible books. Please protect that exemption and help us preserve our important relationships with publishers and authors so that we can continue to offer you a robust collection of accessible materials.
What if I have more questions?
Please continue to refer to this page for updates or call our Contact Centre. Up to date information will also be posted on our social media channels.
You can reach our Contact Centre by phone Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 7:30 pm Eastern time at 1-855-655-2273 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration for CELA and proof of disability for access to Bookshare collection
If you wish to register for CELA but are unable to get a library card because your library is closed indefinitely, we will create a temporary account for you. To register, complete the self-registration form, and enter your first name and last name with no space in the library card field. Please contact us to provide your library card number as soon as you are able.
If you want to access the Bookshare collection but cannot have an appropriate professional sign the proof of disability form at this time, please contact CELA Member Services at email@example.com or call 1-855-655-2273.
How to go digital
- Get a phone or tablet - it doesn't need to be new. iPhones and iPads with iOS 9.1 or later, and Android phones version 5.0 and up will work with our website and the app.
- Download EasyReader, an accessible reading app that is free for iPhone, iPad and Android. It is available through the Apple App Store for iOS devices and available through Google Play for Android devices.
- Follow the steps in the Quick User Guide to EasyReader to:
- Install the app.
- Set up a Dolphin EasyReader account.
- Sign into EasyReader with your CELA account, the same number and password you use on our website.
- Go to celalibrary.ca and get books in Direct to Player format.
- Open the books by going to the CELA library page in the EasyReader app.
You can also watch the EasyReader video for instructions on how to use the app to read CELA Direct to Player books.
Our Contact Centre is available if you need help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-855-655-2273 for support.
Getting Together with Technology Group (GTT)
Canada’s Getting Together with Technology Group (GTT) also has a series of plans to support Canadians who are blind and partially sighted learn how to stay safe through Social Distancing. Plans include one-on-one telephone training sessions with weekly 90 minute open chat calls, as well as the already available GTTSupport email distribution list, WhatzApp Group, GTTProgram.Blog site and on Facebook.
One-on-one sessions can also be facilitated should people need to learn how to download audiobooks from Canada’s accessible Libraries, or to learn how to get sighted assistance through BeMyEyes and Aira services using smart phones and tablets.
For more information about how to connect with GTT programs and services, please visit https://gttprogram.blog.