A new information service aimed at the borough’s blind and visually impaired people is coming soon to Merton’s libraries.

Known as the Talking Eyes project, state of the art computer equipment is to be used to help blind and visually impaired people to enjoy books, magazines, videos and to access the Internet.

The Donald Hope Library in Colliers Wood will house the technology that reads out loud information from a screen and there will be hands-on help from the library staff. Other borough libraries in Morden, Mitcham and Wimbledon will provide computers that magnify ordinary print to a size than is more easily accessible to those with impaired vision.

Councillor Karl Carter, Cabinet Member for Secondary Education and Lifelong Learning said: “The Talking Eyes project is part of our strategy of inclusion and aims to give those of our community who are visually impaired or blind access and full use of their local libraries. I believe this will enable them to gain the maximum benefits from our Library Service.
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Councillor Carter added: “I am also keen that the service users have a direct involvement in the way that this project works for them and a readers’ development group is being set up that will welcome suggestions and requests.”

The project will work in conjunction with The Guardian Centre for The Blind, Merton’s Social Services and the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

The Talking Newspaper, a media service for those with visual impairments, will be kept updated of this service. Anyone with comments or who would like further information contact Diane Slater on (020) 8545 3819