Reading and accessibility

Accessible formats

  • An audio book is a voice recording you can listen to of a book or text being read out loud

  • An eBook is a text or picture-book book you read on a screen

  • Braille is a system of reading and writing by touch used by the blind

Accessible libraries

Bookshare Ireland

Bookshare Ireland is the largest accessible digital library in Ireland. With a collection of over 700,000 titles, accessible books can be downloaded to a variety of mainstream devices. Bookshare makes reading easier and helps people with dyslexia, vision impairment or other reading difficulties to access books. You can customise your reading experience to suit your reading or learning style. Bookshare Ireland is open to children and adults that meet the eligibility criteria. Developed by the NCBI through funding received from the Department of Education and Skills; the Library Access Service currently provides this service free of charge. Qualifying readers of Bookshare can listen to books, follow along with audio and highlighted text, read in large type or digital braille.

Customised Books

You can customise your reading experience with Bookshare Ireland. When you select a title on your desktop, you can choose a digital format to download for that specific title. The digital formats include: PDF, EPUB, Word, DAISY, DAISY with Images, MP3 synthetic audio, Braille Ready File (BRF). These various accessible formats will work with a variety of assistive technologies and devices such as Jaws, Zoomtext, Orbit, and the Mercury12. A series of webinars and videos on Making the Most of Bookshare with your assistive technology is available on their website.

Bookshare and the Easyreader App

  • You can access your Bookshare Ireland titles with your smart phone or tablet by downloading the free Easyreader App.
  • The Easyreader App offers text to speech for all downloaded books. Other accessibility features in the app allows you to adjust font size, contrast, audio pitch and voice selection with different accents.
  • To download the free Easyreader App: go to the App or Google Store and get the Easyreader App by Dolphin.


BorrowBox is a virtual library in an app. It allows your to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks free from your local library using the BorrowBox app. You can access this service using your library barcode and library pin number.

The Anne Sullivan Foundation

The Anne Sullivan Foundation supports people who are deafblind all over Ireland. Currently, they are the only organisation supporting people with dual sensory loss. The Deafblind Literacy Project focuses on creating accessible literacy materials for children who are deafblind and their peers. Most children have access to many books at home and at school. A child who is deafblind may have limited books to choose from. Through this project they hope to increase learning, communication and personal development amongst children who are deafblind.