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Database of Accessible Books for Students with ASN


The Accessible Copies of books in both the Books for All Database and Seeing Ear are shared under the terms and conditions of the Copyright Licensing Agency Print Disability Licence. The books can only be used by pupils who are visually impaired or otherwise disabled (referred to in the licence as an "Authorised Person") and by reason of such visual impairment or disability are unable to read or access the original printed book. 

In practice, this means the books on the database can be used by pupils who have difficulty reading or accessing paper books because they:
  • cannot see the text, because of a visual impairment;
  • cannot read the text, due to for example dyslexia;
  • cannot comprehend the text, because of for example learning difficulties;
  • cannot hold a book or turn pages, due to physical disability.

The learner or Authorised Person does not need to have a formal 'diagnosis' of dyslexia or other learning difficulty.

Note that these accessible copies can only be given to pupils with a print disability: pupils who have literacy difficulties for other reasons, (e.g. because they have English as a Second Language) cannot use the books.

You can:

  • transfer the Accessible Copy to the print-disabled student's personal computer or other device;
  • make the file available to the print-disabled learner via a secure, password-protected intranet;
  • convert the file into another format if the Accessible Copy is not suitable for the learner.
The learner can print pages from the Accessible Copy for personal use only - for example to complete an assessment.

You cannot:

  • copy the file or supply it to another person;
  • upload it to the internet;
  • download a copy and use it for class teaching on the whiteboard - unless this is necessary to include the print disabled pupil to participate in the lesson;
  • download one copy and give it to several learners: you must download one copy for each learner.

To download a file provided by a publisher (e.g. from Hodder Gibson or TeeJay), you must have legal access to a hard copy bought either for personal use or as part of a class set. (This is not a requirement for Accessible Copies in for example Large Print or scanned from paper originals.) 

When you download a book, the Database records your Glow or Scran account details. If files are subsequently used outwith these terms and conditions, or discovered available on the internet, legal action may be taken against you and/or your educational establishment.


The Equality Act 2010

At the time it was passed the Equality Act 2010 promised a new dawn in equality and diversity regulations and guidance. 

The Act includes a requirement to provide information in an accessible format where this is required. This is seen as a reasonable adjustment to be made for disabled people and that includes pupils in all schools.

So why is it still not straightforward to get hold of accessible copies?  In part it’s because of a widespread lack of awareness of what can be done simply, at little cost. The Books for All Database is an example of something that’s been designed to make it easier to get hold of accessible copies.


Disability Strategies legislation

In Scotland, Disability Strategies legislation requires local authorities to plan to make improvements in disabled pupils’ access to the curriculum, to information and communication and to the physical environment.

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