June 2016

Marrakesh Announcement

Photo of the Canadian Flag blowing in the wind, with a clear blue sky in the background.
Means More Books in More Libraries for Everyone!

We’re pleased to be among those announcing that the Marrakesh Treaty is now in force. This Treaty makes it possible to share books in accessible formats across borders. As many of you know, this is something we have been working toward and campaigning for: it means more books in more libraries for everyone.

A few weeks ago we thought the Treaty’s provisions were still some unknown time away. Canada was going to be the 18th country to sign and 20 were needed for the Treaty to be “live”. Then Ecuador and Guatemala signed on and Canada was the 20th and the Treaty was suddenly in force, as of yesterday.

It’s wonderful news, and we look forward to having more access to books in available formats through public libraries soon.

The 2-minute message from WIPO’s Director General is a concise summary of the Treaty’s benefits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9xRLtGYRKg. A longer release can be found on WIPO’s website: http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2016/article_0007.html.

If you’re looking for more background information, NNELS also has an ongoing information page where you can find the latest updates: https://nnels.ca/marrakesh

We wish you all a very happy Canada Day!

The VIRN Team

VIRN Cycling Program Is Underway

Photo of tandem bike with a pilot in front seat with a helmet on the back seat ready for you to hop on.
First Ride Wednesday, July 6th

Space is limited, so reserve your spot by:
Wednesday, July 6th at 12:00 PM
Call us at: 204-975-9340 or email: info@virn.ca

Our first tandem cycling ride starts:
Wednesday, July 6th
6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Assiniboine Park

Meeting spot Duck Pond at Assiniboine Park
Handi-Transit riders get dropped off at the Duck Pond
Transit riders use the footbridge off Portage to get to the Duck Pond
While some are riding, some of us will be going for a walk through the park.
Please confirm if you are coming so we have enough volunteers.
Space is limited, so reserve your spot by: Wednesday, July 6th at 12:00 PM
Call us at: 204-975-9340 or email: info@virn.ca

Special Notes
• Keep this phone number handy for a contact number: 204-793-0245
• You will not be riding for all 2.5 hours
• Some will be walking and some will be riding
• Wear comfortable walking shoes
• Bring mosquito repellent
• Bring a hat and sunglasses
• Bring water and/or something to drink
• Bring a snack for yourself

You are welcome to bring your own bike and join in.
This is one of many cycling rides this season.
Keep active and have fun at the same time,
Everyone is welcome!

Keep VIRN In Mind For Online Shopping

Summer Shopping at Amazon.ca; support VIRN

Thank you for using the Amazon.ca associate program and supporting VIRN.
We are very grateful, every little bit helps and keep on ordering online through our website. Pass this information along so others may order as well.

If you enter the Amazon.ca website through the link below, you will get the same prices and great deals offered by Amazon.ca and as a bonus VIRN will receive a percentage of the money you spend.

Shop at Amazon.ca!

AMI Visits VIRN's Inclusive Trivia Challenge

Graphic of AMI Logo
"Inclusion Happens Naturally At VIRN Events" - VIRN Team

"Inclusion, removing barriers, making everyone feel welcome."

This year marks our 7th year for "Inclusive Trivia", and we are proud of it. An event where everyone is welcome and they can let their hair down and enjoys themselves for a couple of hours of fun.

VIRN Announces Addition of NNELS to Voice Dream Reader App for Android and iOS

Graphic of NNELS logo

VIRN Announces Addition of NNELS to Voice Dream Reader App for Android and iOS

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Vision Impaired Resource Network (VIRN) is pleased to announce that NNELS, the National Network for Equitable Library Service, is now available as a default content source in Voice Dream Reader.

Voice Dream Reader is an accessible reading app for iOS and Android devices that reads books in digital text or audio formats. Using this app, eligible public library cardholders can download books directly from the NNELS website (https://nnels.ca) and listen to them immediately.

This addition of NNELS to the Voice Dream App is an initiative by VIRN, whose community includes many regular readers. Public library user and VIRN Board Chair Vic Pereira wanted NNELS to be easy to find on his phone, and brought the idea of adding NNELS to the app to VIRN members who acted on the idea by contacting the Voice Dream developer.

“What we appreciate most about NNELS is that it makes everyone part of mainstream library service,” says Doris Koop, Executive Director of VIRN.

“NNELS means that people with print disabilities – any vision, mobility, or cognitive impairment that prevents them from being able to read a print book – can get books from the library,” says Vic Pereira, “Our personal information is private and protected, as it should be for everyone, and our book requests are taken seriously, as they are by all librarians when they’re asked to purchase specific books for the library’s shelves.”

NNELS is a provincially and territorially funded online public library available at no charge to eligible residents of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. The service provider for NNELS is the BC Libraries Cooperative, a national co-op providing libraries and related organizations with the services, cost savings, and support they need to do great work in Canadian communities.

How to add NNELS to Voice Dream Reader? Open the app and tap on either the Add link (a plus symbol) or the Settings option (a gear symbol). Then, under Content Sources choose “Add website” and select NNELS from the list of options. If you are not already registered with NNELS, please contact your local public library or visit the website at: https://nnels.ca. NNELS is available directly to individuals, or with downloading assistance from their local public libraries.

VIRN is a non-profit organization that delivers programs and activities focused on providing the positive experiences and information that help people who are vision impaired lead fully inclusive and productive lives. VIRN offers a number of successful programs focused on peer support, public education, active living, and training. Current projects include a Braille embossing service, consulting services, and a ten-year popular Tech-Ease Drop-In program where people can share what they know about technology, and ongoing recreational activities, training, networking, and mentorship.

For more information visit our website: www.virn.ca
Email: info@virn.ca
Phone: 1-888-851-VIRN (8476) or 204-975-9340


June to September VIRN's Paddling Program

Photo of the front five rows with two people per row and paddles up paddling down the river.
Hey VIRN, Let's Paddle!

Starting Tuesday, June 14th VIRN is excited to begin our 2016 paddling program This is just another way for VIRN to keep our Vision Impaired (VI) Community active and have fun at the same time.