The NLS Web-Braille system on the Internet now makes nearly 3,000 books available to eligible braille readers. More than 800 patrons have registered with the electronic service. New titles are added to the collection weekly, and the response of users has been enthusiastic.
Access to Web-Braille requires a user ID and password. Interested patrons must register through their cooperating network library. Further information is available at the NLS web site www.loc.gov/nls.
The pioneering technological initiative, begun in August 1999, distributes NLS-produced grade 2 braille books for download or online use by individuals, libraries, and schools with refreshable braille displays, braille embossers, and other braille-aware devices.
The addition of braille magazines to the Web-Braille system is still being studied by NLS, and developments are anticipated. In addition, the possibility of adding braille books in pre-digital formats to the digital collection by means of optical braille-recognition software and scanning apparatus is under consideration.
The following information is reprinted from Talking Book Topics, May-June 2000. Flexible-disc format Talking Book Topics being phased out
NLS reminds patrons that recorded magazines and periodicals are being shifted from flexible-disc to audio-cassette format. In keeping with this change, Talking Book Topics (TBT) will no longer be available on flexible audio disc after the November-December 2000 issue. TBT will continue to be available in five other formats--large print, audio cassette, computer diskette, online through the NLS web site, www.loc.gov/nls, and as an abridged edition in braille, available to subscribers to Braille Book Review.
Patrons who now receive TBT on flexible disc will automatically receive cassette recordings of the publication unless they request another format through their network library. The new format will begin arriving with the January-February 2001 issue.
The following announcements may be of interest to readers. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped reserves the right to publish announcements selectively, as space permits. Items mentioned, however, are not part of the NLS program, and their listing does not imply endorsement.
Information on skills for everyday living
Dialogue: A World of Ideas for Visually Impaired People of All Ages is available from Blindskills, Inc., a nonprofit organization in Oregon. The magazine contains information for people with impaired vision to improve everyday skills--cooking, gardening, accessing technology, parenting, traveling, and coping in general. Dialogue is available in large-print, braille, cassette, and computer-diskette formats. Subscriptions are available from Blindskills, Inc., P.O. Box 5181, Salem, OR 97304-0181. A one-year subscription (4 issues) is $28 for readers who are legally blind and $40 for those who are not legally blind. For further information or to receive a free sample copy call 1-800-860-4224.
Disability resources newsletter and web site
Disabilities Resources, Inc., a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York, provides information about resources for independent living through its regular-print newsletter, Disabilility Resources Monthly, and through its web site, www.disabilityresources.org. Thanks to a grant from the Bell Atlantic Foundation, the web site has been expanded to include information on roughly 350 disability-related topics and resources available in each state. An online geographic index also provides links to other organizations and institutions. For more information contact Avery or Julie Klauber, (631) 585-0290, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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