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.
Minister Qualtrough introduces National AccessAbility Week to promote accessibility every day, everywhere in Canada
As Canada’s Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities, I believe that our country’s diversity is our strength—and when we include people with disabilities, we create a stronger Canada for everyone.
It is my pleasure to announce that launching this spring, for the first time in many years, an annual national week devoted to inclusion and accessibility.
From May 28 to June 3, 2017, National AccessAbility Week will celebrate, highlight and promote inclusion and accessibility in our communities and workplaces across the country.
We’ve made great strides in promoting inclusion for Canadians with disabilities, but there is still much work to do.
To create a truly inclusive society, we need to change the way we think, talk and act about barriers to participation and accessibility—and we need to do it right from the start, not as an afterthought. An inclusive Canada is one where all Canadians can participate and have an equal opportunity to succeed.
National AccessAbility Week will aim to bring this perspective to the forefront for Canadians, and highlight some of the important initiatives this government and its partners are undertaking to bring about this change.
Please join us in celebrating National AccessAbility Week. I invite you to host events in your own local communities, and participate on social media. More information will be available in the coming weeks on Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada, and I encourage you to follow @AccessibleGC on Twitter, Accessible Canada on Facebook and follow the hashtag #AccessibleCanada and #AccessAbility for the latest information.
Together, let’s continue working towards an Accessible Canada.
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities