All the News You Can Use

Being visually impaired is no walk in the park. However, things are getting progressively better. There is now a way to get your daily newspaper in a format you can easily access.

BARD books and magazines are great but not all that current. However, the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the people who give us BARD, has teamed up with the National Federation of the Blind to bring you your daily news. Same day, current news.  It’s called NFB-NEWSLINE.

I just filled out the application form.

The page will pinch and zoom. (Have you noticed the number of sites “for the visually impaired” that don’t even do THAT much?)

The whole process took about five minutes. They require proof of vision status. I put down my standing, hopefully in good standing, with BVS and BARD. There is an “other” box so I imagine you could list your retinologist.

Supposedly – this is technology, remember – you can call from any touch tone phone in the United States. All you need for the first time you call from that line is your registration number. After the first time the system will remember you.

There is a 10-selection, branching menu. You can even pull up sale circulars and TV listings! Of course, with a branching menu, it is possible for someone like me to get hopelessly lost, but they do provide an overview of what is what on the webpage.

I checked the list of available publications and it is extensive. Several local communities have their papers available. The newspaper for my old hometown is available. The local rag for this town is not. Oh, well. We won’t discuss how often I look at a local paper.

Apparently, newspapers must express interest and sign up for the program. However, it looks like people are able to tell NFB which papers they want to read and NFB will contact that paper.

There was also something about funding. However, there was no mention of any direct cost to the actual consumers. That would be us.

So that is pretty much it. Use your phone to ‘read’ the daily news once again. Cool.

Next: My Drunken Elephant

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