Access for all at City Libraries

15 September 2015

New specialised equipment for residents with vision and hearing impairments is being rolled out across the City’s Libraries as Disability Action Week is celebrated across Queensland.

Audio loops, over-sized keyboards and magnifiers are now available in all 13 branch libraries enabling better access to information, literature and news.

Clearview screen readers that can enhance visibility and convert text to speech in over 30 languages are also available at Southport and Nerang Branch Libraries.

Mayor Tom Tate tested the new equipment worth $21,700 today at Southport Branch Library.

“Our Libraries are already great community spaces to learn, connect and relax and this equipment opens up endless possibilities for many of our residents,” Mayor Tate said.

Mayor Tate said about 16 per cent of our residents had a disability and by 2031 more than 20 per cent of our population will be 65 years and older.

“Everyone is a valuable member of our community and should have the opportunity to engage fully in community life.”

Disability Action Week is held in September each year, with the aim of empowering people with disabilities, raising awareness of disability issues, and improving access and inclusion throughout the wider community.

In celebration of Disability Action Week, City Libraries is hosting a special library showcase and afternoon tea at Southport Branch Library tomorrow (Wednesday 16 September.)

The showcase is an opportunity for residents to explore products, services, collections and technology available at City Libraries in support of people with special needs.

The showcase will provide hands on demonstrations of ability-enhancing equipment like the Clearview, a unique magnifier that is designed to improve your reading experience and can convert any printed text into speech.

Last year the City launched its first Accessible and Inclusive City Action Plan 2014-2019 as part of its commitment to building a stronger more inclusive community.

“We’ve already taken significant steps to achieve the outcomes in the plan over the next five years,” he said.


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