BETTER ACCESS: New equipment to help with visual and hearing impairments has been installed across local libraries.
BETTER ACCESS: New equipment to help with visual and hearing impairments has been installed across local libraries.

New technology making it easy

NEW specialised equipment for residents with vision and hearing impairments were installed across the City's Libraries in September to celebrate Disability Action Week.

Audio loops, over-sized keyboards and magnifiers are now available in all 13 branch libraries enabling better access to information, literature and news. Clearview screen readers that can enhance visibility and convert text into speech in over 30 languages are also available at Southport and Nerang Branch Libraries.

Mayor Tom Tate was among the first to test the new equipment worth $21,700 at Southport Branch Library. 'Our libraries are already great community spaces to learn, connect and relax and this equipment opens up endless possibilities for many of our residents,' he said.

He stated that about 16% of residents had a disability and by 2031 more than 20% of our population will be 65 years and older. "Everyone is a valuable member of our community and should have the opportunity to engage fully in community life."

Disability Week is held in September each year with the aim of empowering people with disabilities, raising awareness of disability issues, and improving access and inclusion throughout the wider community.

Last year the City launched its first Accessible and Inclusive City Action Plan 2014-2019 as part of its commitment to building a stronger, more inclusive community. 'We've already taken significant steps to achieve the outcomes in the plan over the next five years,' Mr Tate said.


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