Provincial government investing $250,000 to improve access to library resources for persons with disabilities13 December 2013
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is investing a further $250,000 to provide an additional 24 adaptive computer workstations in public libraries to help persons with vision impairments, physical disabilities or learning disabilities.
"This equipment supports the employability of people with print disabilities and furthers our efforts to rebuild New Brunswick as outlined in the Labour Force and Skills Development Strategy 2013-2016," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr. "Our government is committed to providing equitable services and programs to all New Brunswickers, and this investment is a clear indication of our commitment to fostering an inclusive workforce and province."
The provincial government is collaborating with the New Brunswick Public Libraries Foundation and the New Brunswick Public Library Service to provide the workstations.
"This investment, in addition to the first amount of funding received by the foundation during the last fiscal year, amounts to $500,000," said Brian Hudson, chair of the foundation. "The foundation is proud that these investments and our partnership will make New Brunswick the first province in Canada to offer provincewide access to adaptive workstations through its public libraries.”
The workstations have screen-reading software, text magnification tools and other technologies to help persons with disabilities use print and electronic library resources.
"Local libraries are for everyone, and the services we provide should also be for everyone," said Carr. "Last year, a pilot project at the Smurfit-Stone Public Library in Bathurst introduced adaptive workstations to the public library system. We are pleased that today's funding will complete our goal of expanding the services to all local libraries."
The workstations are expected to be available across the library system by the end of 2014.
● New Brunswick Public Library Service