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Joby Fleming (by phone for items on Dec. 7 and 8)
Mary Frances Laughton (Dec. 8)
Donna Pletz Passey
Deborah Tunis (Dec. 7)
Paul Whitney, Chair
Annik Beaudry, Canadian Heritage (Dec. 8, replacing L. Guertin)
Ralph Manning (Dec. 7 p.m.)
Pauline Myre, Office of Disability Issues, HRDC (Dec. 7)
Carol Smale (Dec. 7 p.m.)
Nathalie Toppin, Canadian Heritage (Dec. 7, replacing L. Guertin)
Joby Fleming (in person)
James E. Page
Opening Remarks, Friday Dec. 7
Paul Whitney, Chair of the Council, welcomed all members to the third meeting of the Council. He presented two new members, Deborah Tunis, Director General of the Office of Disability Issues (ODI) and Gaëtan Lévesque, Éditions XYZ, and expressed the regrets of members Bob Fenton and Joby Fleming (who would join the Council by phone), Donna Achimov, Louise Guertin, James Page and Mary Frances Laughton. To ensure that everyone knew all the members, a tour de table followed.
Discussion and Adoption of the Agenda (CAPC-3-01-A)
P. Whitney briefly outlined the work of the two days and asked for additions or corrections to the Agenda. As there were no additions, the agenda was adopted as distributed.
Adoption of the Minutes of the Meeting held on May 27-28, 2001 and discussion of their status (CAPC-3-01-B)
As there were no comments, the minutes were adopted as distributed.
Before calling on the Council members to make their reports, the chair expressed his gratitude for all the work that had been conducted since the last meeting. He pointed out that follow-up on a number of recommendations had taken place; these achievements would become evident during the meeting.
Committee on the Clearinghouse of e-text Masters
In the absence of M.F. Laughton, M. Smith presented the report on the clearinghouse of electronic master files. At the annual meeting of members of the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) in June, M.F. Laughton and M. Smith had met with a committee of educational publishers to present the findings of the Task Force report and to explain the purpose and nature of the clearinghouse. A follow up meeting with two publishers was expected in October but it had to be cancelled. This meeting will take place early in January. It is expected that each publisher will choose one book to put through the clearinghouse process as a pilot project. This will allow the publisher, the repository and the alternate format producer to test out procedures and experiment with what works best from technical and management perspectives and most securely for issues relating to rights management.
In the meantime, the Association has been monitoring research and development on e-books and has had connection with Instantaneous Links, a private manufacturer.
P. Whitney added that members of the Council (P. Whitney, E. Gayda, A. incent) and G. Evans had met with R. Bouchard of Canadian Heritage to explore possibilities for funding for retrospective conversion of publishers' titles. They learned that the Canadian Digital Cultural Content Initiative did not consider that the digitization of back files met the criteria of the program. For one thing, one condition for accepting Canadian Heritage funds was that the product must be presented free to the public.
R. Bouchard urged the Council members to identify the standards needed to ensure that digital content from other sources was accessible to print disabled Canadians. Therefore, a second summer meeting was held with Canadian Heritage, Industry Canada Assistive Devices Industry Office and staff from the National Library to discuss what standards the guidelines for grants should include. Canadian Heritage has accepted the recommendations of the group at this meeting, both for the portal and for those receiving monies to create individual digital products.
The Chair also reported that he had received a number of exchanges on the Council's decision not to continue work on recommendation 8. They had come from B. Fenton and B. Lendrum. P. Whitney reiterated the main reasons for this decision: 1. only certain publishers receive grants from Canadian Heritage and 2. some of the largest publishers that do not receive subsidies are indeed the publishers whose e-master files are desired (e.g. educational publishers). In addition, in discussion with publishers, the sense of working together and finding incentives was considered more effective than a penalty.
The Council members discussed the status of their previous decision and agreed again that their not to proceed with action on Recommendation 8. There was recognition that the language used in the revision of the workplan had been misleading. All members present concurred with this decision not to take further action and requested that the language of this decision be communicated publicly. It was made clear that the Council does not consider its role to re-write the Task Force Report but rather to try to find the best means of implementing solutions to increase the amount of accessible materials available to print disabled Canadians.
K. Taylor added that the technological environment had changed since the Book and Periodical Council had done the background work under contract with Industry Canada in 1997. The clearinghouse will act as an intermediary between the publishers and the alternate format producers until the rights management issues are solved. In future, a model not only for a library service but also a bookstore service will be possible to consider. P. Webster pointed out that activity related to electronic publications in the United States was an interesting model to watch, from both technical and legislative perspectives.
A. Vincent emphasized that there was no consensus yet about the role of the clearinghouse in being both a 'library' and a 'bookstore'. However, as the purpose was to have more accessible content, a staged approach was necessary; this meant starting with a database, which could be made available to authorized alternate format producers. To achieve this, publishers concerns had to be protected. In the long run, other models may be possible. E. Gayda lent support for the notion of a long-term plan on this issue. M. Smith said that a multi-step approach was what was envisioned; the pilot project would serve as proof of concept and could be broadened once the lessons for all the players was analysed. A. Nikias noted that the discussion at the previous meeting had brought consensus among those present. P. Webster noted that if a database were available, the not-for-profit institutions (e.g., universities) making accessible digital texts could also identify their content. K. Taylor pointed out that in this period of transition, the CNIB Library is paying publishers a license fee for a package of materials.
E. Gayda reminded the Council that this was a very important recommendation for print disabled users. She urged the committee to come up with a clear plan for the next 3 years on this question. It was agreed that a member of the Canadian Association of Educational Resource Centres (CAER) would be added to the Committee. B. Minnery of the W. Ross Macdonald School in Brantford was suggested and the Secretariat agreed that travel costs could be covered, if that was necessary.
ACTION: M. Smith, M.F. Laughton and Secretariat
Committee on Resource Sharing
P. Webster began the report by describing the workshop that had been held on October 26-28 in Ottawa. About 30 persons from many sectors (university service providers, alternate format producers, library service providers and users) were together to brainstorm and exchange information on their experience and practices. The users had been very instrumental in making clear both the small and large things that hinder or help them access the information they need. The group celebrated achievements but also addressed the need to strengthen the national network to share the materials that do exist (there are about 225,000 [the correct figure is 250,000] records in AMICUS for alternate format materials) and AMICUS is now free to all Canadians. However, that number does not include agencies that are producing e-texts and other formats for their immediate users (especially those producing for college and university students) on demand.
A report of the workshop is attached to the minutes. After all the presentations and brainstorming, the group concluded that there were two overriding concerns: content and funding. The other serious issues are: lack of awareness on the part of users, intermediaries and the general public, governments and the media on what print disabilities are; what materials will assist those needing alternate formats and how they can get them; the need for training; and finally the need for coordination of those providing service so that a more consistent set of services may be delivered across the country. Small groups formed to discuss the lack of awareness and need for a strong communications and advocacy plan, as well as the need for a training plan for the users and intermediaries/service providers. A third group addressed the issue of coordination.
In this last group, the work of the Canadian Association of Educational Resource Centres (CAER) was seen as a possible model for members of the Canadian Association of Disability Service Providers in Post-Secondary Education (CADSPPE). Public library staff also considered the possibility of strengthening their network, because users have made it clear that they wish (and believe they have a right) to be served at the local public library level.
D. Passey added that the resource-sharing workshop had been a good beginning and that the Secretariat had been asked to set up two listservs so that work can continue. A. Vincent added that the occasion had made evident that there is unanimity among users and service providers about how progress can be made. He added that G. Evans had visited Montreal after the meeting to visit some of the Quebec producers and service providers. He confirmed the need for greater awareness among many stakeholders because they do not have the same information about what is available, for whom it is available and through what processes the material can be obtained. He said that the group had envisioned a 'national day for alternate format materials' in 2003 to publicize the needs of print disabled persons and the materials and equipment they use to access information. He also spoke of the need for consistent training for the public and service providers.
J. Fleming (via telephone) picked up the concerns raised at the workshop about training and awareness. He noted that many do not understand or necessarily include in their services those with a perceptual disability, although the copyright act gives an exemption for the production of a single copy for this group. He added that any campaign had to work at many levels because many print disabled Canadians are not going to turn first to the Internet; they get their information from many sources including radio, posters etc. With the changes in technology, training is also an issue for users and service providers. J. Fleming reinforced the Council's orientation to action, not just talk. He pointed out that users can become skeptical, but he is convinced that concrete progress can be made.
P. Whitney concluded this section of the agenda by pointing out that these reports would be discussed and specific decisions taken by the Council on Saturday.
Manager's Guide to Multiple Formats
The Chair welcomed Cory Galbraith, who has been working with Industry Canada and Treasury Board to develop a guide that is both educational and instructional for public service managers. C. Galbraith commented that earlier drafts had resulted in an overly lengthy document, and thus a number of recent improvements had been undertaken, including a checklist, appendix and resources references. He noted that the document provided should now be considered a "draft final version". The Council's additional feedback would be welcomed.
Several members made comments. V. Nikias commended the guide as an excellent product, noting that he had been pleased to be involved in the consultation. He suggested that a final revision was needed to ensure compatibility with brail readers, e.g. periods are missing in some cases. Elizabeth Gayda expressed approval of the guide; Karen Taylor noted appreciation for the use of plain language, and Peter Webster suggested the document would also have value for non-governmental organizations, particularly those addressing accessibility issues for the first time. C. Galbraith advised that it would in fact be made available outside government, and that final revisions would be undertaken to ensure readiness for release in early 2002.
Paul Whitney noted the usefulness of the Guide with respect to the Council's own communications plan.
Council then unanimously approved a motion from V. Nikias, seconded by A. Vincent, to formally endorse the directions set out in the Manager's Guide and lend full support to this initiative through wide dissemination by Council members. P. Whitney expressed thanks to C. Galbraith for his efforts and indicated that the Council would send a letter to M.F. Laughton indicating the unanimous support expressed in the motion.
Presentation on Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D)
by Kathie Korpolinski
P. Whitney welcomed K. Korpolinski and her assistant, Justine Thompson. Following an outline provided as overheads (see attachment), K. Korpolinski led the group through the history of the organization and, more particularly, the major changes in role and clientele since 1990. She emphasized the major transition that moving from analogue to digital represents to all parts of RFB&D, both in converting existing titles and in producing new ones. This retooling affects everyone and every system including the volunteers, the systems, organizational and delivery infrastructures, the equipment for users, and the users themselves. Moreover, in opening services to persons with dyslexia some years ago, RFB&D has quadrupled its membership in a short time. RFB&D has therefore had to focus on one target audience and they have chosen the K to 14 year-old school group. The organization has been doing some experimentation and research on the use of digital books and have retrained 5000 volunteers on new equipment in 32 studios across the U.S.A. Maths, sciences and physics books are particularly difficult to produce and it is hard to find expert volunteers in those areas (normally retired professors).
K. Korpolinski emphasized the importance of standards and the wonderful work that has gone into the Digital Audio Information System (DAISY) standard that will make all content navigable and allow print disabled persons a level playing field in accessing their information. However, the transition is very time consuming, expensive and difficult. She spoke of the special relationship that RFB&D feels for Canada and Canadians. Once the standards are confirmed, the producers of equipment will begin to get involved and that will drive down the price of playback equipment. However, rights' management will remain a key issue.
While conversion and experimentation on digital is proceeding with 29 schools, RFB&D is running a number of parallel systems. It is converting the titles on highest demand; it is producing new digital masters in a number of formats; and is doing some full-text, full-audio masters. A number of multinational technology firms are involved and all have to adjust to the advances in technologies and in standards. Johns Hopkins University has put money into studying the longer-term affect of digital books on learning for those with print disabilities.
Council members asked questions about RFB&D's funding; in response, K. Korpolinski noted that it receives about 25 % of its 9 million dollar funding from the U. S. Department of Education. Companies are assisting with in-kind hardware and software; foundations are also providing particular support for certain projects; but about 75 % comes from regular members and from donations.
J. Fleming pointed out that equipment can be prohibitively expensive for the end-user and when options for delivery (e.g. the usefulness and durability of CDs) are being considered, this factor needs consideration.
Members moved then to the possibility of an arrangement at the national level for Canadians to receive materials from RFB&D. They wondered how many Canadians use RFB&D and what type of arrangement might be possible. No one at present knows the statistics on Canadian usage. As well, there are American members who borrow from the existing collection but others who have their needed materials recorded on demand. Members also must fill requirements for certification. It was learned that while most materials are in English, there are some French titles and Spanish is in demand because of the changes in U. S. demography. In considering the next steps, a number of issues need to be taken into account.
P. Whitney thanked K. Korpolinksi for her informative presentation and confirmed that the Council would be in touch with her early in the New Year. He expressed the appreciation of the Council for her visit, her direct and open approach and her support for opening dialogue between Council members and RFB&D on the needs of Canadians.
Federal Disability Agenda
Deborah Tunis presented an update on activities at the Office of Disability Issues (ODI) since May. She indicated that not as much progress had been achieved as had been hoped for but that the Office was focusing on 4 key areas:
She advised that the Office was working in collaboration with community organizations to develop a framework for tax-supported disability supports, and that a more horizontal approach to disability issues across government was being fostered. An Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) committee meets regularly to discuss common concerns, and it is important that the work of the Council be communicated to this group.
The ODI is working on restructuring and revitalizing its operations in the context of its reorganization into the Social Policy Directorate of Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC). Ms. Tunis commended the leadership of G. Evans, and suggested that ODI would be looking to the Task Force and Council as a model for future progress. She advised that Minister Stewart and indeed the Prime Minister see disability issues as a continuing priority but that there was concern that such issues would not be a priority for the coming budget, which would likely be focused on security matters.
A number of Council members had comments.
P. Webster suggested that funding programs are needed to assist people with personal technology, especially those who "fall through the cracks", e.g. the unemployed, or those who do not have school or workplace access. He recommended a joint federal provincial model to assist disabled people to purchase technologies, noting that tax credit models were not useful to those who do not pay taxes.
E. Gayda asked about the relationship between the Council and ODI and how the new structure of the Office might affect the Council's work. G.Evans commented that the ODI had impact across government and supported the Minister in a number of federal/provincial/territorial concerns; in this sense it could be effective in bringing the Council issues forward. G. Evans and V. Nikias had met with D. Tunis to brief her on Council concerns. G. Evans suggested that Council set time aside in the next day's agenda to discuss strategies to bring Council issues forward through the ODI, and emphasized that this Office was an advocate within government to communicate the Council's concerns. V. Nikias reminded Council and ODI staff present that despite the current expectation that significant funding would not be evident in the Federal Budget, the Council recommendations are realistic in cost terms, and designed in an incremental framework. He cautioned that Council not downscale expectations too much. D. Tunis noted that the ODI was well positioned to serve as a "matchmaker" for the Council and other agendas and would look for opportunities to create partnerships.
The Government's response to the report of the Committee on Human Rights and Disabilities had been tabled on November 9. It noted that attention will be given to labour market issues and disability supports. At present, there is much concern about the renewed need to fill in forms for tax credits.
In summary, the particular needs of print disabled users were highlighted for the staff of the Office for Disability Issues because there can be positive results and accomplishments if money is put into disability supports. For example, it can be statistically demonstrated that a large percentage of those who read brail are employed and are taxpayers.
Member Updates, Saturday, December 8, 2001
P. Whitney began the morning by asking for members' updates. K. Taylor noted that the presentation on RFB&D reflected the same situation in which the CNIB Library found itself. The Library has entered a major fundraising and systems development phase and is working with a number of technology firms to develop the infrastructure, archiving and delivery functions of a digital library. So far, the response from the private sector has been positive and strong. K. Taylor also noted that Famous Players was showing films with digital captioning. In response to a question, she reported that Jim Sanders had taken over as President of the CNIB on November 1, 2001 and that he had immediately appointed R. Kavanagh as Vice President, Client Services. The responsibility for the Library is being rotated until the position is filled; there will be a posting for the position.
D. Passey noted that the resource sharing work would continue through a listserv created by the National Library; she also noted that among the CAER members there were about 50,000 educational titles in large print, audio, Braille and e-text to share, while there were 225,000 [the correct figure is 250,000]records in the AMICUS data-base. CAER members were also converting from analogue to digital and creating new titles in digital. The annual meeting of CAER will be held in May in Regina. She pointed out the importance of AMICUS for resource sharing, because it is necessary to have a central file to identify and locate materials needed by students across Canada. This union catalogue plus goodwill allowed members to share for the benefit of print disabled users.
J. Côté spoke of the necessity of continued support for brail books. He asked that the group not think of philosophy or history when they thought of learning but that members consider the different levels of information contained, for example, in a biology, geography or informatics textbook. Those different levels are created by different files for graphics, diagrams, maps, formulae and they are carried on different software. He noted that many students give up because they cannot be given all the levels of information and meaning that sighted students get. But he also asked the group to consider the first year of a print disabled student - teaching them to work with text and illustration and assisting them in becoming literate. There is a difference between strict transcription and adaptation. J. Côté reminded all of the difficulty in supporting print disabled students and urged that there be good succession planning and training. Braille will continue for those who are to become literate, even with major advances in the technologies because it is the expression of literacy for blind and visually impaired persons. J. Côté also reminded the group that on January 4, 2002, the community would celebrate the 150th anniversary of Louis Braille's death. A special publication has been prepared by the Institution des jeunes aveugles in Paris and it would be good to have a copy in Canada.
P. Webster reported on training sessions that he had provided in Nova Scotia for public librarians. Rarely do those providing interlibrary loan and those serving print disabled persons meet and share their knowledge, experience and expertise; yet only through mutual exchange and training can the needs of print disabled person be met through resource sharing.
P. Webster is also working with the members of the Canadian Association of Disability Service Providers in Post Secondary Education (CADSPPE) to coordinate their work and to build a more consistent approach to producing alternate format materials and providing services to students. Some of the services are associated with the academic library but others are quite distinct special services where knowledge of the library sharing practices is not known. P. Webster is going to provide some training in the Atlantic Provinces but is assisting CADSPPE to develop plans to encourage more sharing and to avoid duplication. He also noted that there was genuine interest in public libraries in certain provinces to increase their expertise and resources.
A. Vincent brought members up to date on the Quebec scene. Library staff (Alexandre Mongeau) of L'INCA in Montreal has started a reference service in French, similar to that provided by CNIB Library in English. Answers to research questions will be provided within 72 hours; this new service seems to be appreciated by Francophones. On November 1, 2001 the staff from L'Institut Nazareth et Louis Braille and La Magnétothèque joined forces to provide a one-stop service for borrowing materials. The new service is the Service québécois des livres adaptés. It provides access to diverse collections and is supported by the Ministère des communications et de la culture. The service will be part of the new Bibliothèque nationale du Québec but its status is not yet confirmed. There is a lobby that is requesting a separate budget and staff for this service. The community made an advance this fall in having the VICTOR playback machine for digital audio books recognized by the Programme de l'assurance maladie. This inclusion means that print disabled Québécois can get assistance in acquiring the machine for their use. P. Webster added that the Québécois at the resource sharing meeting had asked National Library of Canada staff to discuss systems and bibliographical developments with the BNQ to ensure the benefits of sharing. E. Gayda pointed out that learning disabled Québécois have not been included in the definition of those served by these specialized services. A. Vincent replied by noting that work was continuing in this regard to make senior officials within the Ministère de l'Éducation aware on the needs of learning disabled students.
H. Lussier-Tremblay spoke of the National Library of Canada's commitment to continue to make improvements in AMICUS to assist service providers and users.
P. Whitney drew the attention of the members to the correspondence from David Mann of the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and the International Federation of Library Institutions and Associations (IFLA) regarding issues for the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). P. Whitney wrote to Canadian delegates to WIPO to voice the need for an international convention on alternate formats.
R. Kavanagh had also written to P. Whitney about the need to emphasize the importance of digital content development within the Council's priorities.
Consultations on Digital Copyright Legislation
P. Whitney reminded the Council that the Council had made two recommendations relating to copyright: the addition of large print to the exemption in section 32 and the second relating to the ability to provide captioning for non-commercial videos. Staff at Canadian Heritage considered that the second issue was already covered in the present copyright legislation. The secretariat was asked to have this latter point clarified.
P. Whitney also reported that the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Sheila Copps, had promised to table a bill on the retransmission of broadcast signals via the Internet. This legislation would take precedence and would likely set aside the work being done as a result of the consultation on digital copyright. Over 600 briefs had been received, including one from the Council chair and one for the CNIB. These briefs were well-informed and articulate and voiced a range of significant concerns. Section 92 of the Copyright Act must be reviewed by September 2002, so it is possible that the results of the consultation may be rolled into the government's response. In the digital area, the Council is concerned that protective measures needed to address digital technological issues do not override the exemption for making copies for non-commercial purposes for print disabled persons that has been won in the last round of legislative reform. P. Whitney agreed to monitor the situation and keep both the bureaucrats and Council members informed as measures evolve.
D. Passey raised the issue of making a non-commercial large print copy for individual use. M. Smith spoke of the concern of publishers to have a print run of large print, but recognized the difference of making one non-commercial copy. She requested that the publishing community be made aware of examples where this type of copy was necessary. D. Passey replied that large print is being made available under the CanCopy agreement on a case by case (student by student basis). G. Lévesque added that if the same restrictive language now associated with braille and audio on section 32 were added to large print, the publishers would likely accept this addition to section 32.
M. Smith said that it was important that she have copies of the Council's correspondence in this area as she was representing a number of groups pushing amendments to both the Copyright legislation and the WIPO agreements. All agreed that the place to discuss the issue of large print was when section 92 was being addressed.
Council Action on RFB&D
Members agreed that the presentation by K. Korpolinki had been very useful but it had raised many questions. Certain information is needed - how many Canadians use RFB&D? Under what conditions do they use the services and who pays? If the emphasis is on K-14 years, this shifts the focus of Canadians because it was university students and employed Canadians who needed the additional titles that RFB&D supplies. D. Passey said the CAER could provide numbers for the K-Grade 12 Canadians who use the service; CADSPPE may be able to estimate how many college and university students use the service.
E. Gayda identified her concern about the certification and suggested a pilot project in which the control for certification be handled by CAER and CADSPPE. She asked which Canadian institution would handle the license; and several members voiced the hope that the National Library of Canada would take it on, as it was responsible for coordinating library service to all Canadians.
The possibility of doing a quick survey was raised. The problem is that a survey of present users would not identify those Canadians who would greatly benefit from getting access to the RFB&D titles. CAER's figures are likely to be quite accurate because they are already a network of professionals used to supplying the materials necessary for their primary and secondary students. The post-secondary area is more difficult because the service is locally based and there are no accepted standards and best practices for service.
K. Taylor suggested that it might be better to consider a pilot project with a ceiling on the number of titles rather than users. It would be transaction-based and a cost per title would be negotiated. Several members asked for clarification about the purpose of a pilot project. Not only was there the question of costs, coordination of delivery of materials but also certification. E. Gayda preferred that issue be dealt with in Canada. D. Passey noted that she is the broker with RFB&D for persons in Manitoba and it is she who is responsible for signing off for those who self-identify as needing an alternate format. J. Fleming noted that the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) and CADSPPE would likely be ready to play a similar role. In the college and universities, P. Webster noted, the Student Councillor signs on behalf of the student. He reiterated the purpose of the Task Force's recommendation: to increase the availability of titles for Canadians; to eliminate the issue of costs for individuals, many of whom can not afford the service; and to broaden the population served in Canada by RFB&D. K. Taylor encouraged the group to develop a negotiating position, saying that the Library of Congress and the RFB&D did recognize the difference in legislative and jurisdictional systems in Canada.
P. Whitney said that committee consisting now of P. Webster, K. Taylor, M.F. Laughton. E. Gayda/J. Fleming and someone from the National Library would need to develop a position that did not jeopardize any Canadian now getting service and also met the issues of costs, certification and type of material from the legacy collection that met needs. All agreed that it was best to stay away form the digital collection at this point, because the conditions and costs of service on this collection have not yet been settled.
It was suggested that a maximum number of loans for a given period be negotiated and that existing institutions continue to manage the certification. It was agreed that all Canada should be considered, not just one region and that the momentum should be kept up. P. Whitney underlined the need for the National library to take leadership in coordination and facilitation at the national level to realize a license but the implementation would be done at the local/provincial level, as appropriate to present practice.
M. Smith put forward a motion, seconded by V. Nikias, that the National Library and a team of M.F. Laughton, P. Webster, K. Taylor and E. Gayda/ J. Fleming move ahead on developing a proposal with RFB&D. Carried unanimously. The importance of including the end user was stressed by E. Gayda and J. Fleming.
Next Steps with Publishers
M. Smith, K. Taylor and M.F. Laughton agreed to meet with the two educational publishers in January and to include B. Minnery of the W. Ross Macdonald School in the talks. They also agreed to include staff from the National Library of Canada to ensure that the processes for structuring a clearinghouse and set of procedures were worked out collaboratively. Once the pilot project is over, M. Smith will also involve Francophone publishers. She looks for liaison and support form G. Lévesque.
ACTION: Secretariat and committee members
Next Steps with Resource Sharing
D. Passey noted that discussion would continue with the 30 participants as soon as they had received the report. The more specific work will concentrate on the post secondary service providers, led by a CADSPPE Task Force. Discussion on possible training and awareness sessions has already begun around the annual meetings of several of the associations (e.g. CADSPPE, NEADs, Learning Disability Associations, Provincial and National Library Associations). The aim is to get clearer and more consistent guidelines and practices in place so that individuals are better served.
M.F. Laughton noted that Irene Lambert had written about her experience at the resource sharing meeting to the listserv of the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality (NFB:AE). She was positive about the Council's work. Users are very important players in raising awareness and advocating for improved service.
A. Vincent requested that National Library of Canada staff talk to the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and G. Evans confirmed that the issue had been raised with senior management. He also emphasized the importance of a national day celebrated at the local, provincial and national levels by libraries and library associations. A summary of the discussion on the NFB:AE listserv should be provided to major library listservs.
ACTION: M.F. Laughton, Secretariat and Resource sharing committee members
Mr. A. Nikias noted that it was important to keep pressure on the federal government to address the issues of disability supports with its provincial/territorial colleagues. The issue is still on the agenda and organizations raise it at standing committees. It is necessary to work on a strategy. There may be something to learn from British Columbia. P. Webster noted that at the resource sharing workshop the overriding issue of funding and content were present. It was suggested that the Chair of the Council write to Carolyn Bennett, chair of the Committee on Human Rights and Disabilities and that a couple of members might present a proposal. Similar letters should be sent to Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries in order to ensure that the ongoing work of the Council is known and the priorities for ensuring greater access to information are underlined in this knowledge-based economy. In the letter the issues of retooling to develop digital content, a concern of R. Kavanagh, can be highlighted. Producers of the new tools must have incentives to produce, market and distribute new equipment and software so that the costs of digital content can come down. On hearing again of the importance of braille, K. Taylor pointed out that all formats could be accommodated with the transformation to digital. M. Côté emphasized the importance of braille on paper. M. Smith reminded the group that Recommendation 10 addressed the issue of Canadian content, a point that could be included in both the letter and then hopefully a presentation to the Committee on Human Rights and Disabilities.
ACTION: V. Nikias, M.F. Laughton and secretariat
The Council members asked the Secretariat to draft a list of achievements that could be well publicized. E. Gayda, P. Whitney and A. Vincent agreed to assist the secretariat in creating this report and in ensuring its distribution to appropriate stakeholders. M.F. Laughton suggested the website also develop and maintain a Frequently Asked Questions section. This would go a long way to getting some of the important information out to a number of different sectors and groups. It would also address the issues that persons such as B. Lendrum raised.
P. Whitney agreed that the minutes would be done quickly in draft for distribution and after approval for mounting on the site. He will be in touch with B. Fenton and B. Lendrum. He concluded by saying that it had been a productive two days. The major issue turned out to be relations with RFB&D but the other priorities of the Council: the clearinghouse; a strengthened resource sharing network; copyright; the development of content; and the need for funding for disability supports were moved forward.
Noting that G. Evans would be retiring on January 4, 2002, he thanked her for her work with the Task force and Council and wished her well. He also confirmed that Ralph Manning would take over as head of the Secretariat and would be working with a National Library team.
The next meeting will likely be in May. D. Passey asked that it not be the first weekend in May. P. Whitney agreed to send around a choice of dates within the next little while.
In summary, he highlighted action on the copyright file, the resource sharing file, the clearinghouse, and the letter on disability supports and allied issues. He will write a letter of endorsement on the Manager's Guide and suggest wide distribution in various formats. D. Passey noted that there was a Minister of Disabilities in Manitoba and she hoped that he would learn of the publication.
ACTION: Chair and Secretariat
The meeting concluded after lunch.