Tuesday, October 17, 2006

New facility should help the visually impaired

THE National Council for the Blind has officially opened its new state-of-the-art library and media centre in Finglas.The celebration, which Taoiseach Bertie Ahern attended, coincided with the organisation’s 75th anniversary.The library provides Braille, audio and large print books on a non-profit basis for its members.

The impressive new facility, located in the Business Centre on Jamestown Road, is now Ireland’s largest provider of Braille and audio material.More than 1,500 subscribers will benefit from the library’s Braille unit, five recording studios and over 250,000 books, newspapers and magazines.NCBI’s chief executive, Des Kenny, thanked those responsible for funding the facility.“The move to these superb new premises is a major step which we wouldn’t have been able to take without Government and private sponsorship,” he said.

The new facility also houses the development of audio narrations used to explain visual content of films and programmes.Describing facial expressions and body language is expected to greatly enhance the entertainment experience for the viewer who is blind or visually impaired.NCBI also works with public and private organisations to meet their obligations under the 2005 Disability Act.They convert written documents and information into Braille, audio and digital formats so that they are accessible across the board.

Mr Ahern paid tribute to the National Council for the Blind for all their good work over the years.“From an early age they have believed that a vision impairment did not need to mean the end of a person’s independence,” he said.“I am sure that those with the foresight to establish the council all those years ago could never have imagined the extent to which it would flourish.”


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