Braille Book Review

May-June 2002

In Brief

NFB-NEWSLINE available to NLS patrons

As a result of a federal grant, NFB-NEWSLINE became available nationwide on March 1, 2002, offering telephone access to audio versions of newspapers and other timely information. NFB created the service to allow people who are unable to read conventional print to have access to newspapers and other time-sensitive materials as promptly as their sighted colleagues, friends, and family members. A centralized system using modern telecommunications technology, high-speed computers, and synthetic speech rapidly distributes the newspaper contents and other data in a format usable by blind individuals. NLS patrons who would like to initiate service may notify their cooperating library of their interest. The library will insure that the patron's name and address are forwarded to NFB, which will in turn contact the patron with an identification number, security code, and telephone access information.

NFB-NEWSLINE is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Daily papers provided include USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among many others. NFB-NEWSLINE's goal is to provide at least two papers from each state. Other menu selections will include announcements and library newsletters.

Registered readers access NFB-NEWSLINE through a toll-free number from anywhere in the continental United States and Puerto Rico, using a touch-tone phone. After entering their ID number and security code on the keypad, readers are guided through easy-to-use menu options and navigation instructions.

For more information, visit the NFB web site at or call (410) 659-9314.

Updated financial aid guide available

The U.S. Department of Education now has available an updated audio recording on compact disc of the Student Aid Audio Guide 2002-2003, giving information on federal student aid for visually impaired students. Through a simulated conversation between a counselor and a student, the audio guide provides information on postsecondary student financial assistance. Students who would like to request a copy of the guide at no cost should contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center toll-free at 1-800-433-3243.

Friends of Libraries teams with NLS to support Mystic Seaport access

Friends of Libraries for Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals in North America, Inc., has joined with National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in support of expanded outreach and accessibility initiatives for visitors who are blind, visually impaired, or disabled to Mystic Seaport, the distinguished living maritime museum in southeastern Connecticut.

Mystic Seaport is more than just a one-building museum. It is a superb collection of historic ships, period homes and businesses, a children's museum, a planetarium, and galleries set on a spectacular seventeen-acre waterfront site.

The Seaport is organized into three main areas of activity:

The historic ships and buildings, gravel roads, and stone sidewalks that create Mystic Seaport's nineteenth-century atmosphere sometimes present barriers for visitors with disabilities. The experienced staff are working hard to provide easy access wherever possible and tailor their presentations and demonstrations to the special needs of all visitors.

The Seaport publishes a brochure, "Guide to Access," that provides detailed information on the accessibility factors for each of the museum's forty-nine buildings, standing exhibits, ships, and other attractions. The brochure includes information on the type of entrance and the level of accessibility--graded as accessible to all visitors, of limited access, or of difficult access.

The Education Department of Mystic Seaport Museum offers a range of programs for groups. The programs can be designed to meet a variety of needs.

Please write or call Mystic Seaport Museum for more information and reservations for these and other programs.

Mystic Seaport Museum
P.O. Box 6000
75 Greenmanville Ave.
Mystic, CT 06355-0990
(203) 572-0711
TDD (203) 572-5319

Visit Mystic Seaport's informative and entertaining web site for more information, including accessibility details, membership information, directions, lodging, and more, at

Free Seaport library pass. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is a member of Mystic Seaport's association of public libraries, and as such is able to offer patrons use of a free one-day library pass. The pass entitles two adults and their children or grandchildren under 18 to free admission to Mystic Seaport on the day of the week specified on the pass. The pass will be sent to you by express delivery. After your visit, you will be asked to return the pass using a prepaid envelope. The pass is available throughout the year except for the months of July and August. Late spring and early fall are ideal times for a visit to Mystic.

NLS patrons in Connecticut should contact the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Rocky Hill, Connecticut; patrons in Rhode Island should contact Talking Books Plus, in Providence, Rhode Island; and patrons in Massachusetts should contact the Braille and Talking Book Library in Watertown, Massachusetts, to arrange for their pass. Residents of all other states should contact NLS directly. Write:

Mystic Pass Coordinator
Publications and Media Section
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20542

or e-mail Include your name, address, telephone number, and the date and day of the week you wish to visit the Seaport.


The following announcement 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.

New titles from National Braille Press

Glenna Lang's Looking Out for Sarah is the March selection for NBP's Children's Braille Book Club. Told from a guide dog's perspective, this is the story of the friendship, loyalty, and trust between guide dog Perry and his human companion, Sarah. For ages 4-8. This print- braille edition is $15.95.

Primary Phonics: Set 1, by Barbara W. Makar, illustrated by Anslie G. Philpot, is a series of ten short stories that introduces consonants, various sight words, and short vowels as part of the reading experience. While they learn, children can enjoy the satisfaction that comes from reading a short story independently. Published by Educators Publishing Service, these books have provided the first reading experience for millions of students. The text on each page is reproduced in three media: large print, grade 1 braille, and grade 2 braille. For students with low vision, there are also illustrations. Each of the ten books is approximately sixteen pages long, with one to four short sentences on every page. Each storybook contains a list of phonetic elements on the inside back cover, providing a quick reference for the consonant sounds, consonant blends, vowel sounds, and new patterns covered in each book. For ages 4-7. Ten storybooks, produced in large print, grade 1, and grade 2 braille, all in a carrying case, cost $20.

These books can be ordered from National Braille Press by calling 800-548-7323 toll-free or (617) 266-6160 ext. 20 outside the U.S. and Canada. Or e-mail orders to To learn more about these and other books, visit the National Braille Press web site at

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