Saturday, June 17, 2006

Canada Post honoured for their services to the visually impaired

Since the late 19th century, Canada Post workers have been hauling heavy novels and non-fiction books -- lovingly transcribed into braille -- to visually impaired Canadians across the country free of charge.

Now, after more than 100 years of unfailing service to the blind and visually impaired in the country, Canada Post is being honoured for its commitment.

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the country's largest organization serving the visually impaired community, will present Canada Post with an award today.

"It's a great service," said Graham Stoodley, 67, a Toronto resident who has been blind since childhood.

"I don't know how we would . . . manage to stay literate and stay current with reading if it were not for the postal service."

Rod Hart, director of product management for Canada Post, said it's a great honour to be recognized for the work mail carriers have been doing since the 19th century -- connecting "visually impaired Canadians no matter where they live with books and information."

The CNIB will present the Dr. Dayton M. Forman Memorial Award to Canada Post during the Canadian Library Association's annual conference in Ottawa.

"Canada was the very first country in the world to legislate for post-free delivery of materials for people who are blind," said Shelagh Paterson, director of advocacy, sales and marketing for the CNIB Library.

In 1898, Post Master General Sir William Mulock introduced the legislation that's offered the service to the visually impaired ever since.

About 5,000 books and other materials for the visually impaired are moved by Canada Post each day.


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