RNIB Bookshare RNIB Bookshare

What is RNIB Bookshare?

The RNIB Bookshare scheme provides textbooks and materials to support the UK curriculum for those who are blind or partially sighted or who have other qualifying disabilities. They offer a range of accessible formats that can be read electronically or adapted to suit the personal reading needs of learners. They have over half a million titles in the collection with more being added all the time!

RNIB Bookshare is run by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.  For further information visit the RNIB Bookshare website.


How does it work?

By searching or browsing the accessible content already on their site, RNIB Bookshare can help you to;

  • 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

If the book you need is not available on the site already, there is guidance for how to request a copy in an accessible format from the publisher, or RNIB may be able to do this on your behalf.


Who is RNIB Bookshare for?

You can only legally use this service under UK Copyright Law if you qualify under the Copyright and Related Rights (Marrakesh Treaty etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

“Disabled person” means a person who has a physical or mental impairment which prevents the person from enjoying a copyright work to substantially the same degree as a person who does not have that impairment, and “disability” is to be construed accordingly.

Any individual who falls under the above definition may be eligible to access downloaded items from UK education collection.  This definition is broader in scope than the previous legislation and includes, but is not limited to:


Blind and partially sighted

Persons who are blind or who have an impairment of visual function which cannot be improved, by the use of corrective lenses, to a level that would normally be acceptable for reading without a special level or kind of light.


Learning disability

Persons who are unable to effectively read print due to dyslexia or other cognitive learning disabilities such as Autism or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).


Physical disability

Persons who are unable to, through physical disability, hold or manipulate a book, or who are unable to focus or move their eyes to the extent that would normally be acceptable for reading.


Other qualifying disabilities

Persons who are unable to effectively read print due to a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind, which includes any significant impairment of intelligence and/or social functioning.


Non-qualifying disabilities

English as an Additional Language and low literacy levels are not classed as print-disabilities.


How do I sign up?

Please contact Student Services to confirm if you qualify to be referred for the scheme. You can make an appointment to speak to a Student Services adviser or email studentsupport@uea.ac.uk. If you qualify for the scheme Student Services will refer you back to the library for more information and next steps.