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Largest digital library on earth for the blind opens
14 October 2019 @ 12:45

THE BIGGEST digital library on earth in the Spanish language adapted for the blind has just opened, with over 64,000 works accessible to anyone in the world with serious vision problems.

According to the Spanish National Organisation for the Blind, ONCE – which runs a daily lottery to raise funds for the disabled – a total of 285 million people worldwide are either completely non-sighted or have very serious vision problems that practically impede their eyesight at all bar the most functional levels, such as recognising the position of large objects when navigating their homes.

This translates to 4% of the planet's population – a significant minority – all of whom could potentially read the contents of any published text on earth as long as they understood Spanish, the third-most spoken and read language globally after Mandarin Chinese and Hindi in terms of numbers and of native speakers, the second-most in terms of distribution, and the fourth-most when counting non-native speakers.

Whilst English is the most widely-distributed language and the third-most spoken, it is the only language on earth which has more non-native than mother-tongue speakers, so Spanish is practically level-pegging.

Huge numbers of blind people in the USA will be able to access the library set up by the ONCE, given that native speakers of Spanish alone, not counting those who have learnt it, total over 50 million – more than in Spain.

In total, the library has 34,000 texts in DAISY (Digitally Accessible Information System) format, 27,000 in Braille and 3,000 in sounds.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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