Accessible Digital Books — Support for Organizations

COVID-19 and support measures for the culture, heritage and sport sectors

Learn about the immediate action the Government of Canada is taking to provide support measures and financial relief for the culture, heritage and sport sectors.

COVID-19: Support for the culture, heritage and sport sectors

Budget 2019 announced an investment of $22.8 million over 5 years for the development of an initiative to support the sustainable production and distribution of accessible digital books by Canadian independent publishers through the Canada Book Fund.

The objective of this initiative is to encourage the Canadian book industry to integrate accessible publishing features into the production and distribution of digital books (ebooks and audio books) that can be used by everyone, including readers living with print disabilities. Specifically, this initiative aims to increase the availability of "born accessible" Canadian-authored digital titles.

In 2020-21, the program will build on the initial round of funding by continuing to support projects that engage publishers, assess industry needs, build knowledge, develop best practices and begin implementation of industry standards and certification.

In addition, the program will provide funding to projects that support Canadian publishers’ production or conversion of digital books that meet Canadian and international standards for accessibility (to be announced). The program will also consider projects that lay the groundwork for the distribution and marketing of accessible digital books through libraries and sales channels.

Special call

The 2020-21 special call for project applications outside of the regular Support for Organizations cycle is now closed. Another special call for projects starting after April 2021 will be launched in January 2021.

Who can apply

Canadian-owned and -controlled organizations representing or related to the Canadian book industry are invited to apply for funding for collective projects that support the broad objectives of the accessible digital book initiative and the specific objectives for year-two projects outlined above.

Priority will be given to projects:

  • demonstrating the involvement of Canadians with print disabilities or organizations that provide services to this population, including library organizations
  • involving partnerships between organizations in different language markets or involving different parts of the industry (e.g., publishers and distributors)
  • demonstrating multiple sources of funding and/or a strategy for long-term financial viability.

Eligible projects

A wide variety of projects may be eligible for funding within the existing categories of marketing, professional development, internships and technology projects. Should you have any questions, you are encouraged to contact the Canada Book Fund program to discuss your project before applying.

Examples of projects could include:

  • Development or implementation of collective production or conversion strategies to respond to identified gaps in the accessible book market or in Canadian libraries
  • Professional development to increase understanding of the benefits of accessible publishing and the needs of Canadians with print disabilities
  • Technology projects that seek to improve access to, and discoverability of, accessible digital books in Canadian libraries or on existing sales platforms.

Organizations that wish to add new activities that will support the objectives of the accessible digital books initiative to an existing project (either approved or under consideration) are encouraged to contact their program officer.

Please note that applications for projects involving partnerships between multiple organizations should include information on each partner’s role and, in the case where a partner is not financially contributing to the project, a letter of support.

Eligible expenses

Up to 100% of eligible expenses can be funded. If you are seeking funding at that level, please provide a justification for why other funding sources or a financial contribution from your organization or your partners are not feasible for the project. Expenses incurred before receiving written confirmation of funding approval are at your own risk.

The project for which you are requesting funding cannot finish before you receive your funding decision. Multi-year projects will be considered.

How to apply

Please send your application by email. We are not able to accept applications by mail at this time.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Support for Organizations program at the email address below.

Application deadline

The 2020-21 special call for project applications outside of the regular Support for Organizations cycle is now closed. Another special call for projects starting after April 2021 will be launched in January 2021.

Eligible projects must conform to the application guidelines of the Support for Organizations component of Canada Book Fund.

Contact us

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