Hi GTT Program Blog Readers. I was asked by Karen McKay, Communications Manager, Centre for Equitable Library Access to distribute this statement.
Statement to CELA patrons and supporters
Over the weekend Global News released a story about the absence of federal funding for accessible book production in the 2018 federal budget. CNIB, one of our key production partners, raised the issue in letters to key members of the federal government which outlined the impact this decision would have for the estimated 3 million Canadians with print disabilities.
Federal funding for accessible book production is used to convert published works into accessible formats including human narrated audio, e-text, braille. Since its founding on April 1, 2014 CELA has been managing the collection guided by the CELA Collection Policy and library best practices. Without this funding for accessible book production, CELA’s ability to develop the collection and deliver new materials to patrons would be seriously constrained and would constitute a giant step away from the equitable library service we strive to deliver.
We fully support and thank the CNIB for their advocacy on behalf of Canadians with print disabilities. We were heartened to hear that the federal government has now reconfirmed its commitment to funding accessible book production and that it continues to work towards a long-term strategy for the production of accessible materials. CELA remains committed to providing accessible library services to our patrons through CELA member libraries across the country, and to working with the federal government and all stakeholders to devise a long-term solution.