Dr. Dayton M. Forman Memorial Award

2004 Award Winner

The National Broadcast Reading Service Inc. receives CNIB award recognizing its outstanding leadership in the advancement of library and information services for blind or visually impaired Canadians

Left to right: Gerry Dirks, Paul Thiele and Jane BeaumontJune 22, Victoria:The CNIB Library for the Blind awarded The National Broadcast Reading Service Inc. (NBRS) with the Dr. Dayton M. Forman Memorial Award, recognizing its efforts to enhance media access to blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print-disabled Canadians.

“It was an honour to receive such an award for the on-going service that we provide,” said Paul Thiele, past-chair of the NBRS board. “Access to news and information is our mandate and we plan to continue making print media accessible for millions of print-restricted Canadians.”

NBRS received the award at a breakfast reception on June 19 hosted by The CNIB Library during the Canadian Library Association conference. The award is especially poignant this year as Dr. Forman was instrumental in helping establish NBRS and later served as its president from 1991-1993.

Less than 5% of information in Canada ever makes it into a format such as braille or audio, and more than 3 million blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print-disabled Canadians depend on what little there is. Since 1989, NBRS has worked persistently to address this issue.

"The services that NBRS provides to Canadians who are blind and visually impaired are invaluable," said Margaret McGrory, executive director of The CNIB Library. "It is a privilege to work alongside NBRS to help bridge the gap in access to information."

NBRS is a not-for-profit enterprise, which through its VoicePrint Canada and AudioVision Canada (AVC) operations divisions produces and distributes services that can help reduce barriers to visual media.

VoicePrint Canada partners with hundreds of volunteers to produce audio versions of news information published by more than 100 daily and community newspapers and magazines. The VoicePrint Canada broadcast reaches more than 8 million Canadian homes through licensed program distributions such as cable companies, direct-to-home satellite audio channels, and at www.voiceprintcanada.com.

AVC is the preeminent audio description production center in Canada. Films and television programs are made more accessible for those who cannot see the screen or cannot see it well through the addition of audio inserts that describe key elements essential to the story line. Many Canadian libraries, including The CNIB Library for the Blind, loan AVC described videos to their patrons.

Established in 1996 by The CNIB Library board of directors, the Dr. Dayton M. Forman Award, recognizes outstanding leadership by individuals or organizations in the advancement of library and information services for Canadians who are blind or visually impaired. The award is presented annually in tribute to Dr. Dayton M. Forman, an exceptional humanitarian and longstanding CNIB volunteer. Past winners include Frank Clegg, president of Microsoft Canada, and The Calgary Public Library. A list of previous recipients and more information about this award can be accessed from the CNIB Library web site.

For more information, please contact:

Jessica Parrales
CNIB Library for the Blind
(416) 480-7570

Pamela Muñoz
VoicePrint Canada
(800) 567-6755

Photo of award event participants from left to right:

Gerry Dirks, former CNIB National and Library board member, Paul Thiele, past- chair of The National Broadcast Reading Service Inc. board, and Jane Beaumont, chair elect of the CNIB Library Board of Directors