2010 Conference: Global Accessible Library project: an update by Julie Rae

This paper was presented at the 2010 conference of the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities. You can read listen to an audio recording of the presentation below.

Download this presentation

Audio recording of Julie Rae’s presentation (40.9 MB)

Presenter’s bio

Julie joined Vision Australia in January 2008 as the National Manager Information Library Service and became General Manager Community Information Access in August 2008.

Prior to joining Vision Australia Julie had extensive experience in public and private sector senior management roles requiring strategic and operational leadership and continues to work extensively at ministerial levels for the benefit of libraries and on the utilisation of technological solutions to improve and enhance services to the community.

Currently working on:

  • National repository of Alternative Format material.
  • Working with publishers
  • The Global Accessible Library (GAL)
  • International project to develop a database of statistics from international agencies producing alternative format material enabling benchmarking and cross border comparisons.
  • Audio Description: Advocacy work with cinemas and government for audio described theatres.
  • Working with RPH stations across Australia for increase in funding and shared content.


Today there are 161 million blind and partially sighted people in the world and this number is growing. Extend this to print disabled and you have an even greater number of people who cannot read a conventional book, magazine or website as they are either unable to see the print, hold the item or access the website. Less than 5% of published material, i.e. books, and less than 20% of websites are accessible to these people (Brazier, Helen, An introduction to IFLA Libraries for the Blind Section presented to Libraries for the print disabled conference Zagreb, Croatia February 2008).

But how do libraries for the print disabled ensure that their clients can access the information of their choice?

To ensure that this can be achieved, and realising that no one organisation can achieve this on their own, the IFLA section Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities and the DAISY Consortium have joined to develop the Global Library project. This project endeavours to identify how content can be shared, collected and accessed by library clients. This paper outlines the Global Library project as sponsored by these two organisations.


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