A global library
Impressive title, isn't it. In 1997 I was told of a vision that our director was talking about. Any blind or partially sighted user, able to seek a document via a friendly user interface. If his or her local library doesn't have it, a request goes off round other cooperating libraries. I want this book, in this language, in that media. Do you have it? With copyright accounted for, the publication is transferred to the local production house, delivered in the form the customer wants to his or her address, at a fair price. Is it asking too much?
Last week I attended a meeting in London, overlooking one of its canals, at which many organsations were contemplating how this might be realised. This meeting was a follow on to one in Redmond, VA last November. There Bill Gates received a clearer picture of the state of things accessibility wise. We're hoping to make use of any help they offer in terms of realising our vision.
Fact is, of all the publications available to a sighted reader, less than five percent are made available in an appropriate format to a person whose preference is not for visual content.
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