Pleased to meet you!
For the last 66 years, The Central Library for Blind and Reading Impaired People (a registered non-profit organization) has been the largest and leading organization in the field of making culture accessible.
The Library believes that we are all entitled to share in the range of cultural options that are available and to enjoy the wonderful experiences that Israeli culture has to offer. Our aim is to make this possible by reducing the social, cultural and educational gap that is created as a result of difficulty in reading printed text.
Services are provided to everyone, regardless of religion, nationality or sector. Our subscribers are mainly blind or visually impaired, while others are learning impaired, elderly and more - but they all share one thing in common: their difficulty in reading printed text.
The Library provides access to all levels of culture: literature and journalism, cinema, television, theater and the visual arts. Additionally, the Library produces accessible cultural content that is available throughout Israel in various cinemas, theaters and on TV. We have reached a time when visually and reading impaired people who wish to enjoy culture can do so independently, even without Library membership. By creating this opportunity we encourage blind and visually impaired people to go out, to share cultural experiences with family, to interact with their surroundings and to participate in the social and cultural discourse in Israel.
The Library is innovative by international standards in that we provide a complete solution all under one roof. We open up a whole world of culture to our target audience, from production to service to supplying information about events, and we cooperate with municipal organizations that know the local community and help to spread our cultural message throughout the country. This is all done highly professionally!
As we branch out in new directions, we find a vital need to establish a Center for Accessible Culture, which will be a new home for the Library. The Center will provide optimal conditions for creation, production and lending of all kinds of culture, and will enable us to produce high quality accessible material so that blind and visually impaired people can experience the full beauty and power of cultural performances as if watching with their own eyes – and become active participants in the event.
Many people are unaware that the Library only manages to offer about 10% of all the literature that is published in Israel. The percentage for non-literary culture is far lower, at only a few dozen projects, since it is a new field that is largely unknown. The establishment of the Center for Accessible culture will undoubtedly increase the Library’s production capabilities in the field.
Activities to promote education for children and youth in Israel
The Library works to promote education and learning among students who are blind, visually impaired or who have learning or other reading disabilities. We invest significant resources in making educational material accessible, sometimes producing books that require a high investment even if they are only for the use of one student, because we understand how important it is to the future of the individual who has no alternative access to the content. This is especially true if the student is integrated in the standard school system with sighted peers. We know that given the right tools, these students can acquire an education and profession and develop a career that will allow them to support themselves and their families with dignity and to contribute to society as a whole.
Training for employment, enrichment for the soul and a springboard to success
As part of its vision, and in the spirit of the new Center, the Library helps blind and visually impaired creators to break into the world of art and culture. We invite participation in various accessible cultural training courses, whether for the purpose of acquiring a profession to integrate into the workforce or for professional development.
We constantly strive to rehabilitate blind and visually impaired people through enrichment of the spirit and soul, by making culture accessible and providing professional knowledge in various fields to help expand employment horizons.
The Library in the periphery
60% of the blind population in Israel lives in the periphery, mainly in small, isolated communities at opposite ends of the country, with a relatively small population in each locality. The Library’s operating and distribution methods, based on advanced technological systems, cooperation with the postal service, municipal organizations for the blind and cultural centers, allows everyone to enjoy the same conditions and service, whether they live in Dimona, Metula, Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.