National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Celebrates 80th Anniversary!

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On March 3, 2011, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), the Library of Congress’ talking-book and braille program, celebrated 80 years of helping visually impaired and physically handicapped individuals enjoy reading their favorite books and magazines.

This free library program brings reading materials in digital audio and braille formats straight to the homes of patrons from preschoolers to centenarians. Books on digital cartridge, digital talking-book players and braille books are sent to patrons via the U.S. mail at no cost to users. People who sign up with the program also have the option of downloading books and magazines over the Internet in audio or braille format.

"The NLS collection of more than 400,000 titles of bestsellers, classics, biographies, romance, and other genres delights even the most selective readers. Magazine-lovers enjoy free subscriptions to more than 40 periodicals in audio format, including Consumer Reports, National Geographic, and Sports Illustrated for Kids, and 30 periodicals in braille, such as Ladies Home Journal, ESPN: The Magazine and the New York Times Large-Print Weekly."

For more information on eligibility and to apply for this service through the Washtenaw Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled @ AADL, please visit our website at: wlbpd.aadl.org.

American Council of the Blind Radio

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Blind and sighted people from many walks of life and a variety of backgrounds regularly tune into American Council of the Blind (ACB) radio to listen to broadcasting that showcases and nurtures the creativity and talents of the blind/low vision community from many parts of the world. You can tune into ACB Radio using free software on your computer. Most media players will work (and may already be installed on your computer) but if you do not have a compatible player you can download one from the ACB. Take a look at the schedule, see what's coming up that's interesting to you, and tune in!

After We're Gone...

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After We're Gone is a series of 4 training sessions geared toward aging parents who have adult children at home with developmental disabilities. The first session is Thursday January 20th from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at MORC in Auburn Hills. This series is free. Walk-ins are welcome but reservations are appreciated. Call The Arc of Oakland County at 248-816-1900.

Elevator Table at Malletts Creek

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In addition to the computer stations available in our Downtown Assistive Technology Lab, there are now two computer stations at the Malletts Creek branch that are located on top of an adjustable elevator table meant to accommodate an individual in a wheel chair or who may otherwise require a station at an alternate height. The table moves up or down by a remote control that's connected to the end of the table just below the table top. If you need to use a computer station on the elevator table, please feel free to let staff know.

The Jewish Braille Institute Library

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The JBI Library provides individuals who are blind, visually impaired, physically handicapped or reading disabled with books, magazines and special publications of Jewish and general interest in Audio, Large Print and Braille formats. The unique services provided by JBI, all of which are free of charge, enable over 35,000 children, adults and seniors to participate fully in the life of their communities. JBI Talking Books are available in English, Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Romanian, Polish and Spanish. To apply, call 1-800-433-1531. JBI's librarians are happy to describe JBI's services and to aid in the easy enrollment process.

A Study in Scarlet

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For our WLBPD patrons, here's some interesting news:

Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study In Scarlet (DB 71855), read by Alexander Scourby for the American Foundation for the Blind in 1939, has been added to the BARD collection. This recording was originally issued as 33-1/3 rpm long-playing phonograph records. It is the first NLS analog-to-digital conversion title to use a disc source. If you are eligible for BARD & have feedback about this recording, it may be directed to: qas@loc.gov. Let us know what you think about it, too!

Assistive Technology Available on Public Computer Stations

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A giant trackball mouse that requires less wrist and arm movement is available for use at all library locations. Other assistive technologies available on public computer stations are: JAWS - a text to speech software, a computer magnifier, and a text enlarger. Just ask at the reference desk and we'll be glad to help you get started. Click here to read more about assistive technology available at the Ann Arbor District Library and the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled.

Need a Ride?

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Now there's RideConnect, a new transportation coordination center serving Washtenaw County residents. Sponsored by Western Washtenaw Area Value Express or WAVE, the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study or WATS; People's Express, Washtenaw County, and Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, RideConnect also coordinates services among existing public, private, and non-profit transportation as well as county human service agencies.

Washtenaw County Community Day!

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On Saturday, August 14th, Washtenaw County residents will have the opportunity to connect with over 35 human service providers & non-profit agencies. Washtenaw County ETCS, together with local non-profits & other county departments to bring FREE services to county residents. Look for Michigan Works!; the Department of Human Services; Ann Arbor Spark; Washtenaw County Public Health; Habitat for Humanity; The Business Side of Youth (B-Side), and the WLBPD among others. There will be FREE food, games, live entertainment, and plenty of giveaways. The event is from 11:00 am-2:00 pm. on Ferris Street in the lot next to Key Bank in Ypsi.

August is Audio Book Appreciation Month!

We may already be a week into the month, but it's not too late to start celebrating! Recently established by Chase's Calendar of Events, 2010 is the first official year for this holiday. Congress created a talking books program in 1931, though audio books really didn't take off until the 1980's with the popularity of the cassette tape. Now, whether you're visually impaired, making a long commute, or simply want to hear your favorite book read out loud, you can enjoy this form of literacy! Books are available on CDs, as MP3s, streaming on the internet, and a few titles are even still offered on cassette.

Here at the AADL we have tons of resources for our audio book fans. Check out our most popular audio books here. Interested in downloading your favorite book on MP3? Take a look at our eBooks and eAudio page. Patrons of the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled are also eligible to check out these items, so go ahead and browse the selection.

Want even more audio book information? Librarian Mary Burkey at Booklist has a wonderful blog with current news, reviews, and everything you need to know about audio books. AudiobookAudiobook

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