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BOOKS > A new project initiated for the visually impaired

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency

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The new project will be carried out in 85 public libraries throughout Turkey. AA photo

The new project will be carried out in 85 public libraries throughout Turkey. AA photo

The Culture Ministry announced the start of a new project aimed at giving the visually impaired easier access to various sources of information at public libraries.

The project is titled “No Impediments to Access to Information,” and will be carried out in 85 public libraries throughout Turkey.

The project aims to help visually impaired citizens have better access to online and hard copy sources in library archives by means of improved technical equipment and computer software such as screen reading and screen scaling programs, sensor-fitted book reading machines, and desktop magnifier systems.

With screen reading programs, textual information on computer screens will be read aloud by a human voice and a screen magnifier program will help citizens who are visually limited in using a computer or suffer eye strain in doing so. Sensor-fitted book reading machines will send books into a digital environment and record them either in text or in a human voice.

Onur Bilge Kula, the head of Culture Ministry’s General Directorate of Libraries and Publications, told members of the press at the project launch meeting that there were 1118 public libraries throughout Turkey. Most, however, fall short of their title. “We are trying to update them according to international standards.” He said the number of books registered in Turkish libraries totaled 16 million and one million books were being added to the archives on a yearly basis. “Currently, we are planning to complete Turkey’s literature map at the end of the year.

Kenan Önalan, Family and Social Policies Ministry consultant, also a visually impaired person, talked about his sufferings at the meeting.

July/03/2012

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