Help people with print disability keep Centre for Equitable Library Access BC wide!
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Jan. 5, 2018
Dear Mr. Glumac, Mr. Rob Fleming, and the BC Library Branch,
I am writing you as a Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) patron in an area not currently funded for the service by this province.
CELA was created by public libraries in collaboration with CNIB so that Canadians with print disabilities, including those who are blind or partially sighted, could have access to equitable services through their local public libraries.
In most parts of Canada, CELA services are funded by provincial or territorial governments; however, certain regions in B.C., CNIB has been temporarily subsidising our library services while CELA works with the government to find a sustainable funding solution. Without a commitment of support from you, our government, myself and others in our community may lose our access to the CELA services we count on.
I do not want to lose this essential service, which provides me access to a full library (books, newspapers, magazines) both online and through the mail. I’ve lost sight in both eyes from a rare autoimmune disease called Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) in 2006. Due to this unique condition, I cannot read Braille books because I have poor sensation in my fingertips from partial paralysis. As a person with physical limitations, having CELA’s easy methods of obtaining the books to listen to is great help.
CELA also provides a great service by having volunteer readers convert print books into audiobooks by request, thus making all literature available to us in such a way that able-bodied Canadians effortlessly enjoy every day.
You, as part of my B.C. government, have a responsibility to fund library services for people with sight loss, just like you do for sighted citizens.
Please don't let me, and others like me, lose access to a service dedicated to providing accessible library materials to people with a print disability. I'm asking you to support funding for CELA's service B.C. wide. Thank you for your assistance on this important matter.
Hee-Jin Youn, 31
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