People can be described as having a 'print disability' for many different reasons including:
- not being able to read standard print because of blindness or vision impairment.
- having a physical disability which prevents them from holding or turning the pages of a book or printed item eg. multiple sclerosis, a stroke or severe arthritis
- having a learning or concentration issue that makes it difficult to follow text eg. dyslexia
These conditions can result in significant additional handicaps to a print handicap. Because they vary so greatly, it is only possible to make general suggestions for services that you can adjust, depending on your clients needs.
Print disability awareness kit - An initiative of the State Library of Victoria and the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind available online.
Print disability copyright guidelines explains the Copyright Act 1968 provision which allows copyright product to be format shifted (alternative formats) for people with a print disability.
Increasing Accessibility Library Initiative
In 2010-11 the Australian 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 the country in an initiative called: Increasing Accessibility Library Initiative.
The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has been selected to deliver the Library Initiative which aims to improve access for people with a print disability to print material in a digital format through public libraries around the country.
The State Library of Queensland was successful in their application to be part of this initiative, on behalf of Country Lending Service and smaller independent libraries throughout Queensland. The State Library has partnered with Vision Australia for the delivery of this service, using the portable Plextor Daisy Reader device.