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Home > What Is Available > Services to American Citizens Abroad > Overseas Outlook > Jan-Jun 2002
Volume 25, Number 1
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has been experiencing delays in shipping and receiving mail since mid-October 2001. If you would like to contact the overseas librarian, you should use the telephone, facsimile, or e-mail. My telephone number is (202) 707-9261, facsimile is (202) 707-0712, and e-mail address is <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Messages sent using the postal service may result in six-month delays. If it is necessary to send physical items, parcel or expedited delivery services should be used.
Music scores and books about music have been added to the NLS Web-Braille system that provides braille books on the Internet.
This extension of Web-Braille represents the first collection of braille music materials to be available on the Internet for use by NLS patrons. The specialized digital holdings contain items not available from any other source, including many braille music scores.
NLS has linked its International Union Catalog of braille and audio materials to Web-Braille. As a result, Web-Braille books, magazines, and music may now be accessed directly from the catalog by using author, title, subject, language, keyword, and other search parameters.
Mystic Seaport, the distinguished living maritime museum in southeastern Connecticut, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped have announced expanded outreach and accessibility initiatives for museum visitors who are blind, visually impaired, or disabled.
Among the projects announced are collaborative efforts to conceive, develop, and publish a nautical alphabet book in large print, braille, and tactile formats; issue a digital audio version of an existing Mystic Seaport cookbook for the NLS digital audio development program and for Mystic Seaport's Internet web site; provide analog audio versions of Mystic Seaport books for blind individuals and for sale by Mystic Seaport to the general public; provide English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish audio and braille versions of the Mystic Seaport general handout for museum visitors; provide docent and interpreter training on awareness and accommodation issues for people with disabilities; develop a hands-on artifact package for blind visitors; and launch special projects and programs for blind children.
Noting that the Mystic Seaport project represents a continuing effort by NLS to make braille, audio, tactile, and digital materials available to blind individuals in a variety of settings, NLS director Frank Kurt Cylke said, "NLS has made a number of efforts over the years to work with other national institutions to promulgate accessibility of these reading materials to blind individuals. NLS has worked with the National Park Service to provide tour and information guides in braille and audio formats to several of its national parks, including Shenandoah National Park. Working with Cornell University's Department of Ornithology, NLS helped develop a birdsong tutor on audio cassette that has become a popular book for blind individuals. And the current effort with Mystic Seaport will add to our commitment to reach out to other national institutions."
The Seaport library has also announced a pilot project to allow registered NLS patrons to request a free Mystic Seaport library pass to visit the Seaport.
Patrons of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island regional libraries may request a one-day Mystic Seaport library pass from their library. Patrons in other states as well as the patrons living overseas may request their pass from the Office of the Director, NLS. Each pass entitles two adults and their children or grandchildren, eighteen years old and under, to free admission to Mystic Seaport on the day printed on the card. Passes are not valid during July and August.
For further information contact the overseas librarian.
Overseas patron Louise Nelson has been served by NLS with talking books for the last eight years. She and her husband, Todd, along with her brother, Mark, and sister-in-law, Sam, decided two years ago to travel around the world in their 51-foot wooden boat named Te Tainui. The four of them sailed the waters of Australia and Indonesia and had planned to cruise to Thailand and then on through Red Sea to the Mediterranean when heightened tensions in the Middle East and Afghanistan made them decide to anchor in Singapore until the situation settles down.
Legally blind since birth in her home state of Iowa, Nelson says, "I use lots of alternative techniques along with my remaining vision. I'm able to read print if it's not too small. I often use a magnifier and also a hand-held telescope for distant stuff-especially scenery."
She received her elementary education at the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School and her secondary education at the Solon Public High School. Her travels began after graduation, as she entered the University of the Americas in Pueblo, Mexico, in 1974 and graduated four years later from Denver University, Colorado, with a degree in Spanish Literature and Secondary Education. After graduation, she returned to Iowa as a braille instructor, and later as a program coordinator for the Iowa Commission for the Blind (now the Iowa Department for the Blind). She completed a Master of Science in Special Education at Northern Illinois University and moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where she worked as a braille and home economics instructor at the Louise Rudd Center for Blind Adults.
She met her husband in Anchorage and they married in 1987. It was Todd Nelson who introduced Louise to open-water sailing aboard his 28-foot boat in the middle of an Alaskan winter in 40 knots of wind.
Having decided to delay their travels, Nelson says she and her crew are busy readapting to life on land. While they find Singapore beautiful, they find adjusting to a regular work schedule a little difficult after the freedom of the sea. The rest, however, will allow them to make repairs on the ketch and to take a look at the region they are in. "We are planning land trips to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Korea while we are here. We also hope to fit in China and Hong Kong."
I am sure the overseas readers will join me in wishing the Nelsons a safe and pleasant journey around the world.
Each issue of Overseas Outlook includes a bibliography on a subject that may be of interest to overseas patrons. This minibibliography lists works about Afghanistan, which has been a center of attention for the last several months.
Use the check box after each book description to select the book(s) you want. After selecting the books you want, complete the name and address information. As the final step, use the request button at the end. When you use the request button, an email is created and sent to the overseas services office at NLS.
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Posted on 2010-08-25