Accessible Digital Books — Support for Organizations

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 persons living with print disabilities. Specifically, this initiative aims to increase the availability of "born accessible" Canadian-authored digital titles.

In 2019–20, the first phase of the initiative will focus on engaging publishers, assessing industry needs, building knowledge, developing best practices and establishing industry standards.

Further phases of the initiative will focus on supporting production and conversion of digital books in accessible formats and fostering distribution of and access to these books via regular sales channels and public libraries.

Special call

This is a special call for project applications outside of the regular Support for Organizations cycle.

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 objectives of the first phase.

Priority will be given to projects:

  • demonstrating the involvement of Canadians with print disabilities or organizations that provide services to this population
  • involving partnerships between organizations in different language markets or involving different parts of the industry (e.g., publishers and distributors)

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, please contact the Canada Book Fund program to discuss your project before applying.

Examples of projects could include:

  • Development 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
  • Assessment of the training or capacity needs of Canadian independent publishers
  • Research into market needs, national and international best practices, and distribution channels for accessible digital book

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

Please note that the Canada Book Fund will not be funding collective projects for promoting or marketing accessible books in the first phase of the initiative.

Eligible expenses

Up to 100% of eligible expenses can be funded. 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 but the majority of expenses will need to be incurred before March 31, 2020.

How to apply

Application deadline

Applications for projects with expenses that will start to be incurred before March 31, 2020 will be accepted on an ongoing basis until December 13, 2019.

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

Contact us

Department of Canadian Heritage
Canada Book Fund
25 Eddy Street, 25-8-T
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5

1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (ET).

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: