Sight impaired people – or their friends and family – can find out more about the world of books that is still accessible to them through the South African Library for the Blind (SALB) at the National Book Week celebrations, which are taking place at the Red Location Museum Precint in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth from September 3 to September 8.
“Everyone has a right to read – including the sight-impaired,” says Francois Hendrikz, director of the SALB. “Our stand at National Book Week showcases all of the products, services and assistive devices which help make reading accessible to the blind and print-handicapped. Besides the Daisy Playback device and document reader, there are also audio and tactile picture books for pre-school children.”
National Book week aims to promote reading as a critical part of South Africa’s development and celebrates books as instruments for education, culture, heritage and economic progress. The event will also showcase South African Writers, publishers, book sellers and related businesses.
The SALB has invited two schools for the blind from the Port Elizabeth Region to be part of the Book Week activities and will present various reading programmes and Braille games. “Everyone is welcome to participate in these activities,” says Hendrikz. “We will also have more information available on how to become a member of the SALB.”
With a collection of more than 25 000 books, the library provides a constantly growing choice for the sight impaired. Both audio and Braille books are available in a number of indigenous South African languages, and the library is currently busy with a project to expand the range of titles available in all the official languages. Certain audio books can also be downloaded by members for use on PCs, MP3 players and iPods.
“At the National Book Week event, we will also have information available for anyone who is interested in becoming a narrator, copy typist, Braille proof reader or transcriber,” says Hendrikz.
Don’t miss out on the celebrations at the Red Location Precinct for this year’s National Book Week!
For more information on The South African Library for the Blind, contact 046 622 7226.