MEDIA ALERT – NJ State Library and NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired Partner to Offer Library Equal Access Program (LEAP) at Newark Public Library – October 4, 2018

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver Scheduled to Attend October 9th Ribbon Cutting in Celebration of Blindness Awareness Month


Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver and Carole Johnson, Commissioner of the NJ Department of Human Services, are scheduled to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tues., Oct. 9th, 10 a.m., at the Newark Public Library to mark the launch of the Library Equal Access Program (LEAP). Offered in partnership by the NJ State Library and the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI), the LEAP initiative provides beginner level assistive technology software training for NJ residents at select libraries across the state. The celebration ceremony is part of a series of events by CBVI this October as it marks Blindness Awareness Month, which aims to recognize the residents of NJ who are blind and vision impaired, as well as inform the public about good eye health.



Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver and Carole Johnson, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, will give remarks.



Newark Public Library, 5 Washington St., Newark 07101



Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 10 a.m. – Ribbon Cutting and tour of LEAP Training Area



The LEAP initiative, sponsored by CBVI, targets adults 55 years of age and older, and will provide basic computer skills training on how to use assistive software, such as magnification and audio reading tools, to help vision impaired users with reading websites, emails and other documents. Training will also include an introduction to using assistive technology features now available on iPads. LEAP represents a unique partnership between CBVI, the State Library’s Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC), and Advancing Opportunities. Classes will be offered at the Newark Public Library, where computers and iPads equipped with assistive software have been installed. Training will be delivered by the Assistive Technology Services Department of Advancing Opportunities, a leading provider of disability services in New Jersey.


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At the Newark Public Library

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About the New Jersey State Library
The New Jersey State Library (NJSL), an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University (TESU), connects people with information and resources through its service to libraries, state government, TESU staff and students, and NJ residents, including those with special needs. NJSL provides support for public, school, academic, and special libraries, and continues to promote services for learners of all ages, including key areas of continuing need such as digital literacy, business outreach, workforce development, summer reading programs, and services for the visually and physically impaired, among others. For more information, visit

About the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The mission of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired is to promote and provide services in the areas of education, employment, independence and eye health through informed choice and partnership with persons who are blind or vision impaired, their families and the community. CBVI was created by the State Legislature in 1910 and has several offices and facilities throughout the state. CBVI works to provide and/or ensure access to services that will enable people who are blind or vision impaired to obtain their fullest measure of self-reliance and improved quality of life. CBVI also seeks to assure that people who are blind or vision impaired are treated as dignified and worthy individuals who are fully engaged in their communities, on equal footing with their sighted peers. For more information, visit

About Advancing Opportunities
A leader in the disability services field, Advancing Opportunities has been providing person-centered, community-based services to people with all types of disabilities and their families since 1950.  In addition to assistive technology services, the agency provides family support services, advocacy, residential programs, respite care, substance abuse prevention education, and community education and transition services throughout the state. For more information about Advancing Opportunities visit or call 1-888-322-1918.  To see the ways assistive technology can help people with disabilities, visit

About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.