Funding boost to library services for the vision-impaired

Vision AustraliaThe NSW Government has announced $500,000 per annum funding from next year for Vision Australia’s library service.

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said the funding administered by the State Library of NSW, will allow Vision Australia to deliver a greater selection of audio and braille books to the 126,000 people who are blind or have low vision in NSW. Through portable and accessible devices such as the DAISY player, Envoy Connect and the Vision Australia connect app, library members can access the library 24/7 from their own home.

“I am pleased to announce this funding which will help vision-impaired people in NSW access information services, resources and the latest technologies through Vision Australia’s library service,” said Mr Harwin. “This funding is in addition to the $60 million boost that the NSW Government has committed to public libraries over four years, which will result in significant improvements to library services across the State.”

Vision Australia CEO Ron Hooton said the organisation is thrilled the NSW Government recognises the importance of inclusivity in society. “As the only library of its kind in the nation, we provide people with blindness, low vision or a print disability access to more than 43,000 book titles in either audio or braille,” said Mr Hooton. “For many thousands of our clients, access to the library is what helps keep them informed, entertained and educated.”

NSW State Librarian Dr John Vallance welcomed this exciting partnership with Vision Australia that complements the programs and services provided by the State Library. “It is an important step to becoming a more inclusive community,” said Dr Vallance. “Providing equal access to information services to all residents of NSW is at the heart of the Library’s purpose.”

The Vision Australia Library offers fiction and non-fiction book titles as well as access to hundreds of newspapers including all national daily papers, access to electronic journals and reference books, podcasts, sport fixtures and a wide range of magazines. For more information, visit: www.visionaustralia.org for details.

Image: courtesy of Vision Australia

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