Accessible Digital Books — Support for Organizations

Final special call

The application intake for projects taking place in 2023-2024 will close on November 10, 2022.

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 2023-2024, the program will deliver the last year of funding for the Accessible Digital Books Initiative. This last special call for applications will build on the first 4 rounds of funding for this initiative by supporting collective projects that have one or more of the following objectives:

  • marketing, showcasing and distributing accessible books in Canada
  • increasing accessible publishing capacity in Canada, with a focus on accessibility metadata and discoverability
  • implementing industry standards and certification

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 this current round.

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 (for example, publishers and distributors)
  • demonstrating a strategy for long-term financial viability and/or multiple sources of funding

Application deadline

The 2023-2024 special call for applications will close on November 10, 2022.

Eligible projects

Please note that the Accessible Digital Books Initiative will end on March 31, 2024. Therefore, any activities that take place after March 31, 2024 will not be considered eligible. Applicants should consider this when planning their projects.

In the Support for Organizations component of the Canada Book Fund, projects must demonstrate how they provide a broad benefit to the Canadian book industry to be eligible as a collective project. This includes projects submitted under the Accessible Digital Books Initiative. Projects that only benefit a single organization, book publisher, Canadian-authored book or an affiliated group of book publishers are not eligible.

A wide variety of projects may be eligible for funding within the existing categories of marketing, professional development, internships and technology projects in the Support for Organizations program guidelines. 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:

  • collective marketing projects that will highlight Canadian-authored accessible digital books
  • technology projects that seek to improve discoverability and access to accessible digital books in Canadian libraries or on existing or new sales platforms
  • professional development or collective internship projects that will increase capacity to produce, market and distribute accessible digital books in Canada, including through publishing schools

Under the Support for Organizations program guidelines, the promotion of industry best practices is an eligible category. For accessible publishing, this could include the hiring and training of a resource person within a national or regional association to provide accessible publishing support to member publishers.

The program may provide funding to collective projects that support Canadian publishers’ production or conversion and subsequent distribution of accessible digital books. Any conversion projects submitted in the final special call should demonstrate how past sales or market interest will be considered in the selection of books to be converted and must include a robust marketing and distribution plan for the converted titles. Additionally, any titles converted to an accessible format using funds from the Canada Book Fund must be shared with one of the major Canadian library services that works specifically with Canadians with print disabilities.

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

Funding per project varies but funding of more than $250,000 is exceptional and reserved for projects with broad national impact in either or both language markets.

An initial funding cap of $100,000 will be applied for successful collective conversion projects. If there is room in the program budget, additional funding may be considered for conversion work that contributes to the program objective of increasing accessible publishing capacity in Canada.

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.

All projects that receive funding through the final special call must end on March 31, 2024. Expenses incurred after March 31, 2024 will not be considered eligible.

Multi-year projects cannot be considered in this final year of funding.

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.

Contact us

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 5:00 p.m. (ET).

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