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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 06:47 GMT
Plea over books for blind people
Pile of books
Too few books are in a form that blind people can use, says a report
Blind and partially sighted people in Scotland are being denied the opportunity to read 95% of books, according to a new report.

RNIB Scotland said only a small proportion of books are available in brail, large print or as audio books.

In its report it demands more books to be made available in these formats.

On Monday the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Liz Cameron, and a blind school pupil will hand over a petition to the Scottish Executive calling for action.

The report has been published to coincide with the start of Right to Read week.

It says that too many large print, brail and audio books are produced by charities which rely on donations.

Plea for funds

The Right to Read Alliance wants a fund to be set up by the executive to help make more books available for blind and partially sighted people to enjoy.

Provost Cameron will join Matthew Ward, a blind pupil from Darnley Primary School in Glasgow, to hand over the petition, which will be received on behalf of First Minister Jack McConnell by Johann Lamont, Deputy Minister for Communities.

They have backed the Right to Read Charter, a campaign statement calling on ministers to set up a special "access to reading" fund to expand the small network of charities which produce information in formats such as Braille and audio.

Gwenn McCreath, assistant director of RNIB Scotland, said: "Imagine a world where you are excluded from reading books for pleasure or information or education.

"But that world is a reality for more than 300,000 people in Scotland with sight problems, dyslexia or other reading-related disabilities."

Members of the public can sign the Right to read Charter by logging on to the RNIB website.

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