RNIB – Reaching out to New Readers. Umbrella 2013.

RNIB’s talk at Umbrella 2013 began with the thought-provoking statistic that already one in eight people in the UK have difficulty reading print… and with that figure set to double by 2050 due to the aging population.

However, whilst there is a huge and growing need for accessible books, there’s a scarcity of supply, with just 7% of books transformed into an accessible format.

To help combat these problems, RNIB developed its Six Steps initiative and reports that almost all library authorities have now signed up to the Six Steps Promise. These range from agreeing to participate in Make a Noise in Libraries fortnight run annually in June, to designating a champion for the needs of blind and partially sighted people. The next goal is to work with HE and other sectors to implement the Six Steps more widely, with the help of Jisc TechDis.

There’s a wealth of information available on the websites (hyperlinked above) plus a series of workshops (described by delegates as “inspirational”) running across the country.