Thursday, March 5, 2015

Help Support Washington Talking Book & Braille Library


Dear friends,
Please  send a message to your legislators, or call them, (legislative hotline 800-562-6000) to push for funding for the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. You can look up your specific legislators at
This unique library is facing potentially huge cuts!
If the State Library doesn't get a $2.4 million dollar backfill the library will be in big trouble.

Here are a few facts you might not be aware of that the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library does for so many washington state residents

1) WTBBL is the ONLY library providing service to blind, visually impaired, deaf-blind, physically disabled, learning disabled Washingtonians. WTBBL services  are one of the only ways there is equal and fair access to information for these people.
2) Over 12% of Washington's population has a qualifying disability for WTBBL services. As diabetes increases, more people will need special access to materials due to blindness, amputation, neuropathy. As people live longer, they will lose their sight. Its just that way.
The larger the Hispanic population in WA gets, the more patrons the library might have because Hispanics have an extremely high incidence of diabetes. And, WTBBL  provides audio and braille in Spanish, and many other languages.
3) Blind kids who don't have access to braille will never be truly literate which means they won't be successful in school, go to college, or get a professional living wage job. Currently unemployment for the blind is 76%, the bulk of those people are not braille readers. WTBBL partners with schools, teachers, and families to provide critical accessible material, support instruction, works with birth-5 for early literacy, holds events, reading programs and more for children, teens, and families around the state.
4) Whatever district a legislator represents, the library has  patrons there. WTBBL users live in all 39 counties and rely on the library for services.
5) WTBBL is not simply arts and culture. WTBBL is education, literacy, employment support, technology training, and a matter of health for many elderly patrons. A large number of older people are alone, put in homes, can't get around or participate in the world and WTBBL audio books are their lifeline, their companions, and a resource that keeps them physically, mentally, and emotionally going.
6) 43% (probably more) of WTBBL patrons do not have access to a computer or the internet. They are living in disability because they are unemployed, they are living on SSI, they have minimal income, they are unable to use that resource do to health or physical reasons, or they are old enough they don't feel it is an option. The digital divide for people with disabilities is enormous and WTBBL is one of the only ways they can get accessible books delivered to their doorstep completely free of charge, wherever they live, whatever they need.
7) WTBBL participates in government by producing the state voter pamphlet in audio format.
8) WTBBL partners with schools and work training programs to provide job training for people 16-21 years old who are developmentally disabled.
I could go on and on. But basically, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library is a one of a kind resource that is truly important to residents of this state and we need to be funded.
Please ask your legislator to fund the state library the $2.4 million in order to support WTBBL, or to provide funding specific to WTBBL.
Thank you very much.

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