Feb. 4, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is providing $130,459 to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) to help it maintain its library services. Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault announced the funding today.
"New Brunswickers should have every tool available to inform and educate themselves," said Arseneault. "I am pleased that this province is leading the way as the first Atlantic province to answer CNIB's request for support. We are working to ensure that all New Brunswickers have the opportunity to participate actively in the government's self-sufficiency objective."
The provincial funding will help the CNIB maintain its specialized library services to New Brunswickers with who are blind or are partially sighted. It will also enable the CNIB to work with the New Brunswick Public Library Service to develop and implement its Service Model for People with Print Disabilities. This will be piloted in seven public libraries beginning Monday, March 1.
"CNIB applauds the leadership shown by the Government of New Brunswick as the first province in Atlantic Canada to support the right to read of its residents who have a print disability that prevents them from reading printed books," said Anthony Knight, CNIB's New Brunswick chair.
The CNIB library, based in Toronto, offers a website and a toll-free number for Canadians to order materials for home delivery. The library, under the Copyright Act, reproduces and distributes books and information in formats such as audio and braille.
"Whether you are blind or partially sighted; whether you struggle to read due to a learning disability; or whether a physical disability prevents you from turning pages, you now have access to thousands of audio, print-braille and braille books through the CNIB library," said Duncan Williams, CNIB's executive director for the Maritime provinces.
About 73,000 New Brunswickers have some form of print disability and, within this group, 22,000 have vision loss.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Thomas Lizotte, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-8617; Sylvie Nadeau, executive director, New Brunswick Public Library Service, 506-453-7141; Catherine Kieran, communications, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, 902-453-1480, ext. 250.