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Access to Information Request Initiative for Equitable Library Access (IELA) Letter to Bill Wood

Sent:
March 11, 2013
To:
Bill Wood Director Library and Archives Canada ATIP and Document Delivery Services Division
Subject:
Access to Information Request Initiative for Equitable Library Access (IELA) Letter to Bill Wood

March 12, 2013

 

Bill Wood

Director
Library and Archives Canada
ATIP and Document Delivery Services Division

395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0N4
Canada

 

Attn: Bill Wood, Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator (bill.wood@lac-bac.gc.ca)

 

Dear Mr. Wood:

 

RE:           Access to Information Request

                 Initiative for Equitable Library Access (IELA)

 

I am writing on behalf of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) a federally incorporated non-profit organization representing blind, deaf blind and vision impaired Canadians.  This letter is being sent to you electronically and, in print form, along with the applicable fees.

 

Request

 

Pursuant to the Access to Information Act, the AEBC is therefore requesting access to all materials produced by and in relation to the Initiative for Equitable Library Access (IELA), including letters, consultation reports, minutes of meetings, audits, budgets, expense reports, research documents, and any other material which may shed light on how the $3 million budget allocation was utilized and the results that were achieved.

 

Background

 

In 2007, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) was asked to produce a program that would grant print disabled Canadians, greater access to alternative format copies of  print materials held by Canadian libraries.  LAC’s response was to establish an initiative, the Initiative for Equitable Library Access(IELA).  Launched in October of 2007, the IELA had a $3 m budget, and a mandate to produce a plan for  giving  such access, by March 31st of 2010. 

 

The AEBC  represents a sizable body of individuals who currently rely on a charity, which despite its best efforts, can produce and distribute in alternate formats, only a tiny percentage of the books released annually in print.   Our members were looking forward to a system that might make available a larger selection of accessible material, a system that wouldn’t rely on the generosity of donors for its existence.  We were pleased indeed to learn that the Government had apparently, finally taken seriously this long standing problem, and are now disheartened to learn that the charitable model must remain for the foreseeable future, and that seemingly nothing has come of nearly three years of activity, and $3 M of taxpayers' money. 

 

 

 

The last progress report was received in October of 2010, a full six months after the initial deadline.  We have heard virtually nothing more from the IELA since then, despite several letters of request. 

 

Request for Waiver

 

As the AEBC receives no government funding at all, and relies almost exclusively on donations for its operations, we request that, pursuant to s. 11(6) of the Access to Information Act, all fees that would normally apply to such a request be waived, with the exception of the $5.00 application fee, a cheque for which is enclosed. 

 

Format Requirements

 

Our membership and our governing board is comprised of individuals who are blind or who have low vision.  Print material is of little assistance to us.  We would appreciate receiving any correspondence related to this request via email (to info@blindcanadians.ca) and for any documents produced to be provided electronically (on CD or equivalent).  For greater certainty, we anticipate that this may be by way of OCR'd PDF file(s), and understand that the accuracy of that process is necessarily beyond your control.

 

We thank you for your attention to this matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Charles Bailey

National Treasurer

Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians

PO Box 20262

RPO Town Centre

Kelwona BC   V1Y 9H2

History

  • This letter, #2628 was sent March 11, 2013 to Bill Wood Director Library and Archives Canada ATIP and Document Delivery Services Division : Access to Information Request Initiative for Equitable Library Access (IELA) Letter to Bill Wood