Thursday, November 10, 2011

Program to Distribute Digital Talking-Book Players to Veterans

Phoenix, AZ - In honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) of the Library of Congress announces its program with military hospitals and rehabilitation centers to distribute digital talking-book players to service members who can no longer read or handle printed materials.

"NLS has begun a campaign to build personal relationships with the professional staff at military hospitals—assistive technology specialists, physical therapists and occupational therapists—who work directly with eligible veterans and active-duty service members," said Ruth Scovill, NLS acting director. "These facilities will be provided with new digital playback equipment to distribute to their patients. Service members can use the players to read books on cartridges supplied by their local talking-book libraries."

NLS was established by an act of Congress in 1931 to serve the reading needs of individuals who are blind or physically disabled. The law specifies that preference shall be at all times given to the needs of the blind and other physically handicapped persons who have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States.

Readers may enjoy bestsellers, biographies, self-help and other fiction and nonfiction works, as well as a variety of magazines. The materials are delivered by mail—at no charge to patrons—through more than 100 state and local libraries that make up the NLS network. In addition, NLS patrons may download audiobooks and magazines over the Internet by using the Braille and Audio Reading Download, commonly referred to as BARD.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) of the Library of Congress administers the digital talking-book program, a free library service available to U.S. residents or American citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness, or physical handicap makes reading a regular printed page difficult.

For more information about the NLS program for institutions serving veterans, call 1-800-424-8567.

Arizona's Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL) serves as the NLS Regional Library in Arizona. The library provides books, magazines and other resources in alternate formats for all Arizona residents whose visual or physical disabilities prevent the use of conventional print materials. For more information, visit, call (602) 255-5578, or 1-800-255-5578 outside the Phoenix area.

Matthew Roberts

Director of Communications & Community Outreach
Ken Bennett, Arizona Secretary of State
1700 W. Washington, 7th Floor
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

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