A lifeline to literacy

    Canadians who can't read print rely on CNIB Library for books,

    TORONTO, June 2 /CNW/ - If you're reading this article now, consider
yourself lucky. For Canadians like Tim Lait, it's not as simple as picking up
the paper and scanning the headlines.
    As Lait's vision gradually diminished over two decades, reading regular
newspapers, magazines and books became impossible for the 38-year-old
investment banker.
    Fortunately, he found a lifeline to literacy in the CNIB Library.
    "I would have trouble doing my job if I couldn't get newspapers,
magazines and other information in audio format from the CNIB Library," admits
    Lait is not alone. Each year, thousands of Canadians rely on the CNIB
Library and its collection of audio, digital and braille reading materials.
    Unique in Canada and funded by charitable donations, the CNIB Library
offers over 80,000 titles, more than 50 newspapers, thousands of magazines. It
circulates more than 2.2 million items annually to readers with vision loss
across the country.
    Beyond the vision loss community, the CNIB Library can benefit millions
more Canadians who cannot read print due to learning disabilities or
conditions that make it difficult to even hold a book.
    CNIB presently offers an innovative partnership program that allows
public libraries to give their print-disabled patrons access the CNIB
Library's collection: 770 of Canada's 3,530 libraries subscribe to the
    "Audio books taught me how to learn," says Cheryl Feldstein. Diagnosed in
the second grade with a learning disability, Feldstein struggled to make sense
of information printed on a page.
    "By listening to books while reading the words, I was able to figure out
I was an audio learner," she explains. Gaining this insight, she went on to
achieve two college diplomas, with honours.
    Today, literacy has enabled Feldstein to achieve career success as the
executive director of a wildlife rehabilitation shelter.
    "Everyone has the right to read, and we have a collective responsibility
to ensure they have the resources and opportunity to do so," says John
Rafferty, CNIB's president and CEO. "In that respect, the CNIB Library is an
essential service for Canadians who can't read print."

For further information:

For further information: about the CNIB Library, call 1-800-563-2642 or
visit www.cnib.ca

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