Braille Book Review

January-February 2011

In Brief

2011 Collection Development Advisory Group seeks suggestions

The members of the Collection Development Advisory Group appreciate input from fellow patrons and librarians concerning the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) program. Ideas and suggestions from readers are key components in the success of the program and are thoroughly discussed in the committee’s deliberations. Please continue to submit your suggestions to committee members or your cooperating braille or talking-book library. The group will meet again at NLS May 25–27, 2011, to review and discuss these and other matters. A full list of members is provided below.

Consumer Organization Representatives:

American Council of the Blind (ACB)
Steve Speicher
1800 South 41st St.
Lincoln, NE 68506

Blinded Veterans Association (BVA)
Peter Davis
615 South Adams St.
Arlington, VA 22204

National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
David Hyde
1315 Mineral Point Ave.
Janesville, WI 53548-2801


Midlands Region—Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin
Katherine Schneider

Northern Region—Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia
Betty Woodward
18 Boulter Rd.
Wethersfield, CT 06109-4323

Southern Region—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virgin Islands, and Virginia
Larry Johnson
10863 Lake Path Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78217

Western Region—Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming
To be determined


Andrew Shockley
Oklahoma Library for the Blind and
Physically Handicapped
300 NE 18th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Tel: (405) 522-2182
Fax: (405) 521-4582

Teresa R. Faust
Special Services Consultant
Vermont Department of Libraries
578 Paine Turnpike N.
Berlin, VT 05602
Toll-free in Vermont: 1-800-479-1711
Tel: (802) 828-3273

Ruth Hemphill, Director
Tennessee Library for the Blind and
Physically Handicapped
403 Seventh Ave. N.
Nashville, TN 37243-0313
Tel: (615) 741-3917

John Mugford
New Mexico Library for the Blind and
Physically Handicapped
1209 Camino Carlos Rey
Santa Fe, NM 87507-5166
Tel: (505) 476-9770 or (505) 476-9772

Children’s/Young Adult
Elizabeth Burns
Youth Services Consultant
New Jersey State Library Talking Book
and Braille Center
2300 Stuyvesant Ave.
Trenton, NJ 08618
Tel: (609) 530-3251

Magazine of the Month selections for 2011

Two NLS programs offer readers samples of magazines not otherwise available through network libraries. Subscribers to Magazine of the Month and Young Adult Magazine of the Month receive a different magazine on audiocassette each month. For a free subscription to either program, contact your cooperating talking-book library. Subscribers may expect to receive some of the following:

Magazine of the Month
The Bark
Family Tree Magazine
Kiwi: Growing Families the Natural and Organic Way
O, the Oprah Magazine
Real Simple
Reminisce Magazine
Scientific American Mind

Alternates: America in WWII, Cesar’s Way, Family Circle, Flea Market Style, Fresh Home: Easy Ideas for Hands-On People, Inc., Internet Genealogy, Real Simple Family, Scientific American, Spirituality and Health: The Soul/Body Connection, Technology Review, Wine and Spirits

Young Adult Magazine of the Month
Cemetery Dance
Motor Trend
Cosmo Girl
Critters USA
Game Informer

Alternates: Beckett Massive Online Gamer, Fantasy and Science Fiction, J-14, Mac|Life, PC Gamer, Reptiles USA, Road and Track, Seventeen, SLAM, The Source, Teen Ink, Transworld Snowboarding

2011 Calendars

Listed below are organizations that produce calendars in braille or print/braille.

American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
(502) 899-2284 fax  external link
Accepts orders by fax, mail, or telephone.

Lutheran Blind Mission
7550 Watson Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63119-4409
888-215-2455  external link
Accepts requests by e-mail, mail, or telephone.

Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund
3500 North Elm Rd.
Jackson, MI 49201
(517) 780-5096
(517) 780-5548 fax external link
Accepts requests by e-mail, fax, or telephone.

National Federation of the Blind
Independence Market
1800 Johnson St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314, ext. 2216
(410) 685-2340 fax  external link
Accepts requests by e-mail, fax, mail, or telephone.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress
Attn: Reference Section
Washington, DC 20542
(202) 707-9275
Accepts requests by e-mail or telephone.

Olmsted Center for Sight
1170 Main St.
Buffalo, NY 14209-0398
(716) 882-1025
Accepts prepaid orders by mail.

Sight Connection
Community Services for the Blind and Partially Sighted
9709 Third Ave. NE, #100
Seattle, WA 98115-2027
(206) 525-0422 fax  external link
Accepts prepaid orders by fax, mail, online, or telephone.

Society for the Blind
Aids to Independence Store
1228 S St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 452-8271, ext. 502
(916) 492-2487 fax  external link
Accepts orders by e-mail, fax, mail, or telephone.

In Praise of BARD

The Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD), an NLS-provided online service that allows patrons to download digital talking books using high-speed Internet connections, continues to grow in popularity. Even initially reluctant users have been won over by its speed and simplicity. One such patron shares her story:

My life has changed since I discovered BARD. Oh sure, I resisted a technological change as most of us oldies do. But boy oh boy was I wrong.

To make a long story short, through Olivia (my computer angel) and Joan (my BARD angel), my life has really changed. For the first time since I lost most of my sight, I have a level of independence that I have been missing.

When I first lost good sight, I missed going to book stores. Guess what, people? I feel as if I can now do that again—albeit differently. Today, after one lesson and many calls with Joan, I shopped for books on my own time and in my home, without having to constantly ask my librarians if they had this or that.

Sure, I will still call the library. There are books not yet on BARD. But now, if I wake up at three in the morning when the office is closed, no problem! I can go to a cartridge. I can download. Three clicks, and the book is mine!

Thank you for this wonderful service.

–Ms. Deborah “Toby” Hatchett, Portsmouth, New Hampshire


The following announcements may be of interest to readers. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) reserves the right to publish announcements selectively, as space permits. The items mentioned, however, are not part of the NLS program, and their listing does not imply endorsement.

New version of JAWS screen reader released

JAWS 12, a new version of the popular screen-reading software, allows users to quickly configure and globally apply JAWS settings, or configure and apply settings for a specific application. JAWS 12 also improves navigation in applications tailored for the Windows 7 operating system that use ribbon menus. The screen reader, available in a professional version for $1,095 and in a standard version for $895, can be purchased at  External link symbol or by phone at 800-444-4443.

IRS provides assistance for people with disabilities

Hundreds of the most popular federal tax forms and publications are available for sight-impaired individuals at These audio and braille tax forms are accessible using screen-reading software, refreshable braille displays, and voice-recognition software.

The IRS also offers customer service for persons who are deaf or who have hearing disabilities. People with TTY equipment may call 800-829-4059 toll-free for assistance. People who are unable to complete their tax returns because of a physical handicap may get assistance from an IRS office or through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Taxpayers can find a nearby location by calling 800-906-9887.

Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities, explains the tax implications of certain disability benefits and other issues. Visit and select the word “accessibility” from the options listed at the end of the web page for help and information.

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