Digital Talking Book Machine Firmware Update

The National Library Service Materials Development Division modifies the Digital Talking Book Machine (DTBM) software from time to time to correct faults, improve usability, or to add additional features. The latest player firmware update was made on October 24, 2011. This is version 2.1.7.
WLBPD patrons with DTBMs can upgrade players to the latest software in the following manner:

Obtain the latest software from the NLS web site.

Extract (unzip) this file onto a cartridge or USB drive so that the directory "upgrade" appears in the "root" directory of the drive.

Turn on the player.

Insert the cartridge or USB drive containing the software.

The player will announce "Upgrading your player's software."

Wait until the upgrade is complete and the player restarts (about 10 seconds), then remove the cartridge.

The upgrade will only occur if the player's version is older than the version of the software on the cartridge; reinserting the cartridge will not repeat the upgrade.

If you're having trouble, you can find print and audio tutorials for this upgrade on the BARD Talk website.

October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month

Among other month-long observations, October is Dyslexia Awareness Month! Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that results in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. You can learn more about dyslexia by visiting the International Dyslexia Association website. A person diagnosed with dyslexia could be eligible for services from the Washtenaw Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled. This would provide them with a Digital Book Player at no charge & access to thousands of books available on digital cartridges. There are also well over 20,000 books and 40 magazines available for download from BARD, the Braille and Audio Reading Download; and many other supplemental services are available too. So that ALL may read!

Living with Low Vision Support Group

Join the Living with Low Vision group each month at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. Each meeting features a guest speaker or an activity for individuals with low vision. The group meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. The October 12th meeting will feature Dan Furton from the Michigan Commission for the Blind. If you have questions, contact Gale Oren at (734) 763-9468 or

Thirty Years Without Sight

Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled @ AADL welcomes Gerald Rickert, who has been dealing with blindness for 30 years (since the age of 17) to discuss the interesting turns his life has taken and his many accomplishments. The talk on Tues., Oct. 4 will cover his education, work experiences, owning a business, travel, sports and helping visually impaired people use adaptive technology. He practices his hard won skills with veterans through his job at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital, and is working to start a local bowling league especially for people who are blind.

Gerald Rickert | Malletts Creek Branch | Tues., October 4 | 7-8:30 pm

Housing Access for Washtenaw County

One of the agencies that's been instrumental in housing & services to the homeless in Washtenaw County for decades, SOS Community Services, will be closing from September 21st -September 30th. When the doors re-open they will be called Housing Access For Washtenaw County. This means the Food Pantry at SOS will close on Tuesday September 27th and will resume Tuesday October 4th under its new name, Housing Access for Washtenaw County. We will keep you posted as more details are announced.

Focus on Native Americans

The National Library Service added several titles to its Native American collection, which includes works by Native American authors as well as folklore, history, mythology and fiction. Titles are for both younger & adult readers. Many are available in both our aadl and WLBPD collection or in Large Print, too. You can find items tagged as Native American in aadl's catalog. The more items tagged, the more points to score for the Summer Reading Game!

Sharing Resources-

The National Federation of the Blind of Utah is excited to announce a new website, allows for community members to view and share video, audio, or written tutorials and information on myriad topics regarding blindness and visual impairment. Visit the site, sign up, test drive, make comments, rank content, and become a contributor by submitting articles, videos and audio! Submit content from the web that you have found enlightening, positive, and/or helpful. Original articles, videos, or audio tutorials are also encouraged. With your help, will become the premiere, one-stop website for questions and answers related to blindness or visual impairment.

Ann Arbor Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind

The Ann Arbor Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind meets from 12:00 to 3:00 P.M. on the second Saturday of each month at Pizza Pinos. The restaurant is located at 221 W. Liberty Ann Arbor, MI 48104. For further information call (517) 482-1800.

Braille Translator Technologies

NFBTRANS is an open source braille translator (BT). Due to a collaboration for the common good of blind people, NFBTRANS has been updated (the updated version is known as WinBT 2.0) to be compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit computers. The bad news is that NFBTRANS still does not translate HTML, Daisy, or Microsoft Word Files. (Check out the braille translator by John Boyer, part of the Braille Blaster project, that will translate HTML, XML, DAISY, or Word documents requiring little or no expertise.)

The NFBTRANS software is not officially supported by the National Federation of the Blind. Those interested may find support and stay informed by subscribing to the ProgrammingBlind listserve.

Click here for the Updated version.
Click here for the WinBT installer.
Click here for the zipped files.

Downloading Books from the NLS Catalog

You may already know that the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped maintains a complete catalog of all audio and Braille books in its collection, but did you know that BARD users can initiate downloads directly from this catalog? Be sure to use the Voyager interface (rather than the text interface) to search. Enter your search terms, and then select the quick limits option "NLS Digital Talking Books," which will limit the results of your search to books available to download. When you find a book you're interested in, click the title to get the brief record, and find the link that says "downloadable talking book." Clicking this link will take you to the BARD page where you will be required to enter your username and password for the download to begin. This feature is helpful for readers who want more control and flexibility in their searches than the BARD search pages currently offer; or, those who want more information about a book than the BARD listings provide.

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