Gadgets help the vision impaired

IPSWICH residents with a vision impairment can now experience improved access to printed material in a digital format through the Ipswich Library and Information Service.

Ipswich City Council's libraries have been included in the Federal Government's Increasing Accessibility Library Initiative.

Councillor David Pahlke said the library had been awarded 10 Plextalk playback devices through the initiative delivered by the Australian Library and Information Association.

"The Ipswich Library and Information Service is one of 61 public library services selected to receive the devices based on their ability to provide improved access for people with a print disability," Cr Pahlke said.

Print disabilities include blindness or vision impairment, physical disabilities which limit capacity to hold or manipulate print material and perceptual disabilities which limit ability to follow a line of print.

"Recently the Federal Government, through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), provided $1 million for the purchase of playback devices for public libraries around Australia.

"We were lucky enough to share in funding."

He said a demonstration of the Plextalk device could be arranged at any Ipswich City Council library, including the mobile library.

He said library staff were also available to assist people.

For more information, or to organise a Plextalk demonstration, contact the Ipswich Library on 3810 6754.



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