What is the Increasing Accessibility Library Initiative (Library Initiative)?
As part of the accessible communities package to support the National Disability Strategy, the Australian Government provided one-off funding of $1 million in 2010–11 for the provision of playback devices to improve access to print material in a digital format for people with print disability at selected public libraries across the country.
The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) implemented the Library Initiative on behalf of the Australian Government. In March 2011, ALIA sought expressions of interest from public libraries throughout Australia. ALIA selected participating libraries based on their ability to ensure successful outcomes for people with print disability in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote locations.
Under the Library Initiative, 1,299 playback devices (Daisy Players and audio Navigators) were placed in selected public libraries.
The playback devices are available for use and/or loan to people with print disability* and will be uploaded with print material such as newspapers or books chosen from the vast range available in digital format from public libraries. This includes access to print material from libraries of organisations that support people with print disability. Library staff have received training on how to use the playback devices and how to assist users to access the digital content available.
*People with print disability are those who are unable to read standard print with ease due to vision impairment, a physical disability or a learning disability.
A list of participating libraries in each state or territory is available below. It is suggested that before going to the library, you contact them to confirm availability of a playback device.