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Letter from CRBC to Daniel Caron about IELA

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Daniel J. Caron
Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada
550 De La Cite Blvd., Room 306
Gatineau, QC
K1A 0N4

February 8, 2012

Dear Daniel J. Caron,

This letter is being sent on behalf of the Coalition of Organizations of Blind, Deaf-blind, and Partially-Sighted Rights Holders of Canada (CBRC). The CBRC is comprised of several national organizations that advocate for the full inclusion and equal participation of all blind, deaf-blind, and partially-sighted Canadians.

As you are aware, the Initiative for Equitable Library Access was to be completed in 2010. What was to result was a blueprint for making public library services more accessible to Canadians with print disabilities. However, this did not occur. To date, no final report was ever released, and no detailed explanation was given on why the federal government decided not to complete the project. As a result, CNIB has been left to pick up the pieces of this work and start from scratch developing a business plan for a national library service hub for people with print disabilities.

When IELA was launched, there was a budget of $3,000,000.00 allocated to complete the project.  Since CNIB is now basically having to repeat the work of this project, we are requesting that you provide a detailed accounting on how the funds were used by your department and also that you release any reports produced by this project.  Because so much time went into IELA, we feel very strongly that being accountable for this project to the constituents who would have benefited from improved library services is crucial. Even though we support CNIB's current efforts, we can't help but think that a charity with limited resources should not be repeating work already completed by a federal government department.

Thank you for taking the time to read this urgent request. Your prompt attention to this matter is very much welcome by our organization, please respond to


Robin East,
Chairman,  Coalition of Organizations of Blind, Deaf-blind, and Partially-Sighted Rights Holders of Canada (CBRC).

CC: The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

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