Get books in accessible formats if you have qualifying disability (visual, learning, or physical)

Updated on 7 July 2023

RNIB Bookshare and the Alternative Formats Service allow you to freely access eBooks in your preferred format.

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All disabled students are advised to register with Disability Services as soon as possible to ensure individual support arrangements are made.

Alternative Formats Service

The Alternative Formats Service supports the University in providing information in a suitable and accessible format for print disabled users by:

  • sourcing and providing library books in alternative formats (for example PDF, Word, Braille, ePUB, Large print, Kindle, iBooks for iPads, Synthetic audio)
  • adapting examination papers and publicity material for the University
  • developing targets and an information strategy to preferentially purchase accessible information resources (for example books, e-books, journals, online-databases) in liaison with the Library and Learning Centre
  • developing and distributing University-wide accessible Microsoft Office templates, which meet the needs of print disabled people and the University’s business requirements

The AFS works in collaboration with Disability Services, UoD IT, the Library and Learning Centre (LLC), and RNIB Bookshare to support the University of Dundee in the provision of accessible textbooks and materials.

RNIB Bookshare

You may be eligible to freely access over 500,000 eBooks in multiple formats on any app or software able to read eBook files (PDF, ePub, MS Word, Audio, DAISY).  As the books are less restricted you can use your preferred setup to make reading more efficient and easier.  To understand the service, review the introductory webcast or service website. Although the service is provided by RNIB, wider access to people with learning and physical disabilities is encouraged.

With a student account, you can:

  • Listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices
  • Hear and see highlighted words on screen
  • Read with digital braille or enlarged fonts
  • Create physical braille or large print
  • Read directly from your Internet browser

Alternative Formats Service will provide you with a student account with Bookshare. Once your application is processed, you will receive a username and password for an account. From there, you will have access to the range of titles available through the service.

Reading the books

Once you have downloaded your books, you can read them on any compatible device, such as your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet PC. The RNIB recommends the free Dolphin EasyReader app for easy-to-use accessible reading.

Under the Copyright and Related Rights (Marrakesh Treaty etc) (Amendment) Regulations 2018, the books on the Bookshare are available for access by visual and print-disabled students worldwide.

You are expected to abide by the copyright permission systems of the books you download (i.e., do not share them). Each download contains embedded information that allows it to be traced to an individual user account. This allows unlawful sharing of an item to be traced back to the user who originally downloaded it.

More legal information regarding books from the Bookshare can be found on their legal page.

Get access to RNIB Bookshare via self-service

Step 1

  • Read through the eligibility information to ensure you are eligible to access the service
  • You must also be registered with Disability Services and have met with an Advisor

Step 2

Step 3

  • If you meet the criteria, we will send you a unique username and password within 5 working days. All books are linked to your account to prevent unauthorised sharing.

Assisted Service

The Assisted Service offers the same features as the self-service, with additional one to one support by the Alternative Formats Staff to obtain books not available on the RNIB store in an accessible format to meet your preferences. Access to the assisted service by referral from a Disability Advisor in Disability Services.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Registered with Disability Services
  • Have a recognised print disability as defined by the RNIB Bookshare
  • To be referred to the Alternative Formats – Assisted Service by your Disability Advisor
  • Typically to be referred you will have a visual or physical impairment which makes accessing books challenging.