Media Advisory - Official launch of new national library service providing accessible library materials to the over three million Canadians with print disabilities

VICTORIA, May 27, 2014 /CNW/ -

WHAT: The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) will officially launch a new national service to provide accessible library materials – including a broad selection of materials in audio, braille, e-text and described video formats – to the over three million Canadians with print disabilities.

WHO:

Catherine Biss, Chair of CELA Board (CEO, Markham Public Library)

Sandra Singh, Director, CELA Board (Chief Librarian, Vancouver Public Library)

Rachell Morton, 14 year-old CELA patron and Greater Victoria Public Library member

Rob Wiersema, author of Walk Like a Man, Bedtime Story and Before I Wake and whose books are available in the CELA collection

(All speakers are available for interviews post-event)

WHEN:

May 29, 2014, 11:00 – 11:30 am

Refreshments will be served

WHERE:

Canadian Library Association Conference

Oak Bay Room

Victoria Conference Centre

720 Douglas Street

Victoria, BC

WHY: Over three million Canadians have a print disability. This could be a learning, physical or visual disability that prevents a person from reading conventional print. Reading not only informs, enlightens and entertains; it can transform lives, and research shows that access to a broad range of reading materials has a direct and positive impact on a child's success in school and in life. It is hard to imagine a world without access to reading, but for the over three million Canadians who have a print disability, access to a wide selection of reading materials is often an ongoing challenge. CELA makes it possible for these Canadians to gain easy access to a wealth of reading materials, in formats of their choice, right in their own communities, through their local public library. 

While May 29 marks the official launch, over 600 public library systems across Canada are already CELA members, or 75 per cent of Canadian public libraries.  These member libraries are serving 85 per cent of Canadians. Ninety-four percent of Canada's First Nations libraries are CELA members.  And the CELA membership is growing.

CELA is a new national non-profit organization established by Canadian public libraries to support accessible collections and champion the fundamental right of Canadians with print disabilities access to media and reading materials in a format of their choice. 

SOURCE: CNIB

For further information: Jennifer Murray, CELA, (416) 820-9707, media@celalibrary.ca

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