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Access For Blind Community To Six Pack Three Collection

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

25 August 2008 - When The Six Pack Three hits bookstores to mark the beginning of New Zealand Book Month, copies will also be available in braille, audio, large print and electronic text to members of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind.

For the second year, the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind has partnered with New Zealand Book Month to ensure The Six Pack Three, a collection of writing by the winners of The Six Pack Competition, can be accessed by blind, deafblind and vision-impaired people as well as sighted people.

The winners of this year's Six Pack Competition will be announced at the launch of NZ Book Month at Te Papa in Wellington on Sunday 31 August.

Marianne Taylor, Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa, applauds the partnership. "Everyone has a right to participate in the arts and creative expression, whatever their circumstances. This includes reading and writing, and it's great to see two organisations working together to provide these opportunities. Hopefully, this practice will continue to grow and extend to other publishers in New Zealand."

Thanks to digital technology, converting print into accessible formats has never been easier. However, it is estimated that globally, less than 5% of printed material is available in accessible formats.

Neil Jarvis, Executive Director Access Innovation and Enterprise of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, says the Foundation is proud to have worked with the organisers of NZ Book Month to ensure The Six Pack Three is released in accessible formats at the same time as the standard print version.

"If the right to read is fundamental, then we all have to work towards improving accessibility," he says. "Simultaneous publication in print and accessible formats should be the rule rather than the exception and we are working hard to make that a reality."

The RNZFB is the primary provider of vision-related rehabilitation services to 11,700 blind, deafblind and vision-impaired members.

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