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Western Counties Regional Library has acquired the latest reader technology, providing better support and services for those with print disabilities.

As of Tuesday, July 26, the Victor Stratus DAISY readers can be borrowed by any library user who self-identifies as having a print disability. DAISY readers will read a variety of formats such as .txt, ePub, .html, Mp3 and DAISY. 

“DAISY readers have greater accessibility features compared to other audio devices, such as the ability to adjust the pitch and speed without distorting the sound,” says Lydia Hunsberger, Manager of Collections and Digital Services for the regional library. “On a DAISY reader, users have greater navigational control of the book, depending no the format. This makes it easier to browse the book, and users can place digital bookmarks to make it easier to find where they left off.”

DAISY files can come on discs, or can be downloaded. A DAISY file includes text, but it can also include audio and images. Users can choose to listen to the book along with descriptions of images or view the images separately, read the book using screen-enlarging software, or read the book in Braille using a refreshable Braille display.

“Last year, the library purchased 10 DAISY readers in order to make library services more accessible for patrons with print disabilities,” Hunsberger says. “Each library branch will have one reader.”

A print disability is defined as a condition that affects an individual’s ability to read printed materials and can include vision impairment, physical dexterity and perceptual conditions.

“If you have a print disability, library staff can register you for additional library services that will provide you with accessible materials,” Hunsberger says.

For help registering, people are asked to visit their nearest branch library. Branch locations, open hours and contact information can be found at westerncounties.ca.

Librarian holds a DAISY reader
Lydia Hunsberger, Manager of Collections and Digital Services for the regional Western Counties Regional Library, holds one of the library’s new Victor Stratus DAISY readers available for those with print disabilities.