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Canadian Library Program Helps Persons with Print Disabilities Access Reading Material

Author: CNIB

Published: 2011-03-02 : (Rev. 2011-04-26)

Synopsis and Key Points:

Public libraries across Canada are enabling people with print disabilities to access literature like never before.

Main Digest

With the launch of a new provincially-funded library program, public libraries across Canada are enabling people with print disabilities to access literature like never before.

Thanks to funding from the government of Ontario, public library patrons across the province now have the opportunity to borrow from the 80,000-title collection of alternative-format materials at the CNIB Library, including audio, braille and descriptive video.

For people who can't read print, the news means unprecedented access to a broad collection of accessible materials - books, magazines and newspapers - through their local library.

According to CNIB President and CEO John M. Rafferty, the exciting new partnership between CNIB and local public libraries represents a victory for all people with disabilities.

"Just because you can't read print doesn't mean you don't deserve the opportunity to read," he says. "I want to congratulate these libraries for making these resources available and, in doing so, helping uphold every Canadian's basic right to information."

The program is available in all of Ontario's public libraries. Any Ontarian who has difficulty reading conventional print due to a visual, physical or learning disability is eligible to participate.

For more information, contact PartnersProgram@cnib.ca or visit your local public library.

About the Partners Program in Ontario

Prior to securing funding from the provincial government, only 16 public libraries enrolled in the fee-based program

To date, thanks to provincial funding, 207 (61%) of Ontario's public library systems are enrolled

71 of Ontario's public libraries currently hold more than 7,000 CNIB Audio Book titles on long term loan for circulation to Ontarians with print disabilities.

Ontarians with print disabilities can register for direct access to CNIB's entire library collection using their public library card. Register today at: www.cnib.ca/selfregistration

About print disabilities

Less than 5% of published literature is available in formats people with print disabilities can read.

Over 3 million Canadians have a print disability; 1 in 10 Canadians has trouble seeing, holding or comprehending a book in print form.

A person may be unable to read conventional print due to a physical, visual or learning disability

About the CNIB Library

Canada's largest collection of literature for people with print disabilities with more than 80,000 titles in English & French

Circulates 2 million books across Canada annually

Funded largely by public donations

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