Funding review for audio book service for visually impaired in West Sussex

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Funding for a service providing visually impaired people with audio books in West Sussex could be scrapped.

West Sussex County Council currently spends £8,750 a year on the Talking Books service, which is managed by the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and lends audio books to around 175 visually impaired people in the county.

However the uptake of the scheme in West Sussex is set to be reviewed and this could lead to the service being scrapped.

According to a county council report if a decision is taken to withdraw funding then people still requiring the service would be directed towards alternative options for getting hold of audio books, while any savings would be reinvested in supporting visually impaired residents.

The report reads: “There is anticipated to be little impact as the service is not being withdrawn at this time. Subscriptions will only be terminated where it is determined that the person no longer requires the service.”

Once all West Sussex customers are contacted, those who request continuing support will still be funded for 2015/16.

Any decision to terminate the service would then be the subject of a further review to gauge any likely impact.

Currently customers with eligible social care needs are referred to the Talking Book service with the local authority funding the annual £50 subscription cost.

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