The Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled

Welcome to the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled @ AADL!

In Washtenaw County this free service administered by the Ann Arbor District Library, loans books, magazines, and videos in alternative formats (digital cartridge, digital download, large print, Braille, and descriptive video) to individuals of all ages who are certified as unable to read or use standard printed materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical limitations. A talking book machine and materials are mailed at no cost as Free Matter for the Blind. For more information on how to apply, click here.

In addition to mailed materials, all eligible individuals also have access to downloading tens-of-thousands of books and dozens of magazines from the National Library Service's Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) site. An application for access to BARD is required and available through the NLS website.

The WLBPD collection is housed in the Downtown AADL location at 343 South Fifth Avenue in Ann Arbor at the corner of Fifth Avenue and William Street. For information on all AADL locations and transportation options, visit the AADL Locations & Hours page.

All Washtenaw County residents who are eligible for WLBPD service, as well as those living in the same household, are also eligible for Ann Arbor District Library borrowing privileges.

WLBPD is part of the National Library Service (NLS) network. Click here to locate other NLS libraries in Michigan or in other states.

WLBPD Blog

VISIONS 2014 Vendor Fair: What's New In Technology And Services for the Blind And Visually Impaired

Wednesday May 14, 2014: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm -- Washtenaw Community College - Morris Lawrence Building

This 2014 VISIONS Vendor Fair is presented by the Ann Arbor District Library (which also serves as the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled) and is cosponsored by the State of Michigan's Bureau of Services for Blind Persons and Washtenaw Community College.

A variety of Michigan exhibitors will demonstrate the latest products and services for the blind and visually impaired. Electronic readers, magnifiers, support services for the blind, Braille devices, library services, CCTVs, leader dogs, and transportation services are just a few of the many outstanding services and products that will be on display.

Presentations will also be offered each hour:

11:00 AM - Don Olson, National Library Service For The Blind And Physically Handicapped;
12:00 PM - AADL Library Director Josie Parker will present service highlights from Washtenaw Library For The Blind@AADL services, now in its 5th year ;
1:00 PM - The A T Guys - What's New In Assistive Technology?;
2:00 PM - Sherry H. Day, O.D., FAAO and Ashley Howson M.S., OTR/L of the U-M Kellogg Eye Center

There is no admission charge and ample free parking is available.

Four hundred people attended the 2012 Visions Vendor Fair and this year's fair, featuring presentations addressing national and regional issues, promises to be even more eventful.

Birding by Ear and Beyond

The Environmental Interpretive Center is partnering with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to "Celebrate Urban Birds." On the morning of May 17, at 10am, they will be meeting at Gallup Park Canoe Livery in Ann Arbor. The day will be filled with birding along the shore of the Huron River and for an extra opportunity to hear waterfowl they will be canoeing on the river. Lunch will be provided in the park while celebrating urban birds through art and song until 2pm. This free event is sponsored by the Center's "Birding by Ear and Beyond" program, which offers an auditory experience for blind and visually impaired individuals. All are welcome to join. For further information contact Donna Posont at (313) 220-8140 or dposont@umich.edu.

Brainfuse: Live Tutoring & Homework Help

Homework giving you a headache? You may want to log on to Brainfuse. Their live Homework Help is available from 2:00 PM-11:00 PM everyday (except Federal Holidays & Easter). The interactive Study Suite is accessible anytime with your aadl account log in information. For more information about all the amazing facets of Brainfuse read these FAQs. Using Brainfuse can make learning fun for parents & kids! College students and adult learners can benefit from it, too! Give it a try!

Described Video Service/DVS

AADL continues to grow its collection of films that have a Descriptive Video Service or DVS feature, which are more accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. More films are being produced for children and adults that are Described Video Recordings for L-Card users to borrow. There are comedies, action, animation, horror and science fiction films available. Many can be sent by mail to WLBPD patrons as Free Matter for the Blind. If there's a member of your family who has been missing out on movies due to low-vision, look at our list of described videos that you can watch together!

Child In A Strange Country Exhibit Reception

Friday May 2, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library - 3rd Floor

Join us for the official opening of AADL’s special exhibit Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, a new traveling exhibit from the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind, which explores the human ingenuity expressed by generations of teachers and students. The exhibit will be on display in the lobby of the Downtown Library lobby and on the Third Floor from Friday, May 2 – Wednesday, June 25.

This exhibit opening reception will include:
• A welcome by AADL Library Director Josie Parker ( who will also note that the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled celebrates its 5th anniversary at AADL this year);
• Remarks by Micheal A. Hudson, Director of the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind;
• Music by harpist Deborah Gabrion;
• Elegant refreshments.

The exhibit is designed to be fully accessible. Each section includes six panels mounted with tactile reproductions or touchable examples of real artifacts. Each concludes with a sit-down touch table with interactive games and activities which spur the sensory imagination. Labels are available in large-print, braille, and audio versions recorded in the APH studios on Frankfort Avenue.

Please join us for this opening celebration of this extraordinary exhibit and be sure to attend some of our many other related events.

Survey for Parents on their Educational Perspectives

The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness at Louisiana Tech University invites you to participate in a study to evaluate the services and to understand the educational experiences of blind and/or visually impaired youth in grades K through 12. Your feedback will improve policies and practices that prepare teachers in the future. Participation in this study allows us to gain a much richer and robust understanding of factors that impact service options and academic performance of blind and/or visually impaired youth.
For a parent or guardian to participate in this study, your child must meet the following criteria.
• Be between the ages of 5-22 and be enrolled in a school in the United States in grades K through 12
• Visual impairment must be listed as his or her primary diagnosed disability on his or her Individualized Education Plan (IEP);
• English is his or her primary spoken language;
Participation in this study is voluntary and you may quit the survey at any time. We appreciate your participation in this research.

Sensory Communication: Relaying and Receiving Information Through Touch

Wednesday May 7, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

How does touch help us communicate?

U-M Performing Arts Technology Professor Sile O'Modhrain discusses sensory communication and relaying and receiving information through touch. She will also focus on Helen Keller.

This is one of several related events held is in conjunction with the Downtown Library exhibit Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, on display in the lobby of the Downtown Library and on the Third Floor from Friday, May 2 – Wednesday, June 25.

If you know someone who has vision loss, find out more about the services offered through Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled@AADL.

Support for Adults with ADHD

Are you or a loved one affected with Adult Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder? If so, you may be interested in joining a local discussion group for information or support. This group meets from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the WISD Teaching and Learning Center each month. The next meeting is Tuesday, February 18th from 7:00-8:30 pm. The meeting will include resources, an opportunity to share experiences and ideas. The following week, February 25, the group hosts speaker Sally Palaian, Ph.D with a talk titled: "Shame Free Money Management for Individuals with AD/HD". For more information contact: AnnArborADDults@gmail.com.

Assistive Technology at AADL

Adults and children with visual or cognitive disabilities can have easy access to information and entertainment through several types of Assistive Technology at Ann Arbor District Library.

From hand-held magnifiers, to text-to-speech software, to Braille printing, AADL has an assortment of accessible technology available during all regular library hours. Not sure how to use this type of technology? Also available, is walk-in training with an experienced instructor! Walk-in assistive technology training is available, at no charge, Tuesdays, 1-6 pm and Wednesdays, 9:30am-2:30pm, in the Assistive Technology Lab on the 2nd floor of the Downtown Library. Call 734-327-4224 for more information, or email wlbpd@aadl.org.

Interested in new technology? Mark your calendars for: "VISIONS 2014: What’s New in Technology for the Blind & Visually Impaired.” VISIONS will take place on Wednesday, May 14, at Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Building.

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