Hi-tech boost for partially sighted at library

Customers with visual impairments can now benefit from free screen reading software at all Wigan borough libraries

Customers with visual impairments can now benefit from free screen reading software at all Wigan borough libraries

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CUSTOMERS with visual impairments can now benefit from free screen reading software at all Wigan borough libraries.

Leisure and culture provider WLCT has worked with Wigan Access Committee for the Disabled to introduce the use of the NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) equipment, which allows computers to talk to visually impaired people and enlarges screen information.

It can also be useful for people with dyslexia.

Rob Sanderson, from WLCT, said: “This is a really useful piece of software which incorporates a variety of different settings, even changing dialect to suit the customer!

“It will be available on USB sticks at our libraries so just ask a member of staff for assistance if you wish to use it – there is the potential for people to take it home and download it on to their own computers as well.”

Joe Healen, of Wigan Access Committee for the Disabled, said: “These days it is just as important for disabled people to have access to information as to have physical access to buildings and facilities.

“This new service extends the access facilities already provided at many leisure facilities in Wigan borough typically Mesnes Park, Wigan Life Centre and Leigh Sports Village.

“The service will give access to the computer services at libraries to blind and visually impaired people who already have some computer ability.

“We are hoping that it will also encourage people who have not yet experienced using a computer. The screen reading software opens up the whole world of the Internet and printed material to most people with sight problem problems.”

Coun Paul Kenny, Cabinet member for Resources, said: “It’s important that the services offered by the council and our partners are accessible to all, and this software will make a real difference to visually impaired people in Wigan borough.”

For more information about the services available at Wigan’s libraries, visit www.wlct.org/wigan

To find out more about NVDA, visit http://www.nvaccess.org/