New NLS Monthly Virtual Program: That All May eRead

Join the National Library Service (NLS) on Tuesday, July 30, at 6:00 p.m. (Central) for the first session of a new monthly program called That All May eRead, which will focus on using the NLS braille e-readers.

Each session will include a brief demonstration of a feature or use case, with time for questions about both the Zoomax and Humanware Braille eReaders.

Registration is not required. Click on the link to join: https://tinyurl.com/2rnzv5ht

These sessions will be recorded.  

Many Faces of BARD Program: Open Forum

Join the National Library Service (NLS) for the Many Faces of BARD program on Thursday, July 11, at 6:00 p.m. (Central) which will be an open forum for the tech support team to respond to questions.

BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download service and is a registered trademark for the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.  

Registration is not required. The session is scheduled for one hour with time for questions. Click on the link to join: https://tinyurl.com/vfhkx3b3.

Many Faces of BARD Program: Siri Shortcuts for BARD

Join the National Library Service (NLS) for the Many Faces of BARD program on Thursday, May 9, at 6:00 p.m. (Central) as NLS will provide information on Siri shortcuts for BARD.

BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download service and is a registered trademark for the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. 

Registration is not required. The session is scheduled for one hour with time for questions. Click on the link to join: https://tinyurl.com/5ez6btsm.

Many Faces of BARD Program: BARD 2.0: An Introduction and Demonstration

Join the National Library Service (NLS) for the Many Faces of BARD program on Thursday, April 11, at 6:00 p.m. (Central). NLS will provide an introduction and demonstration of the new BARD 2.0.

BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download service and is a registered trademark for the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.  

Registration is not required. The session is scheduled for one hour with time for questions. Click on the link to join: https://tinyurl.com/bdcftz98  

BARD Mobile iOS Version 2.2.2 Release!

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) is releasing BARD Mobile iOS version 2.2.2 this week, introducing enhanced features and improvements.

BARD Mobile enables NLS patrons to download and listen to audiobooks and magazines directly from their iOS devices. Registered Texas Talking Book patrons will need a BARD account and a device running iOS versions 14 through 17 to use this updated version of the app.

Among the highlights:

Siri shortcuts (voice user interface):

The app can now be operated by voice commands for playback and navigation, including stopping and resuming playback, fast-forward and rewind by various intervals, and setting a sleep timer or a bookmark. Users can add Siri shortcuts in the app’s settings.

International language search:

Set up to four languages in the app’s settings and then filter search results by selecting a preferred language.

Accessibility improvements for visually impaired users:

We have boosted color contrast between selected and unselected search categories. This update enhances visibility with Smart Invert, Classic Invert, and Dark Mode on.

Multiword search for Search/Search music

Bug fixes, including:

  • Garbled credentials error fixed
  • Switch from tone to speed is fixed on iOS 17
  • Get Books and Bookshelf now return only titles matching the type selected in the Show Me setting, i.e. Audio Only / Braille Only / Both Audio and Braille

The app supports iOS versions 14 through 17.

This is a phased release, and the version will be available to all users by February 29.

BARD Mobile Android Version 2.1.0 Release!

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) is releasing BARD Mobile Android version 2.1.0 this week, introducing enhanced features and improvements.

BARD Mobile enables NLS patrons to download and listen to audiobooks and magazines directly from their Android devices. Registered Texas Talking Book patrons will need a BARD account and a device running Android OS version 9-14 in order to use this updated version of the app.

Among the highlights:

In-app search functionality

A fully supported in-app search function, including Music Collection search, for a more seamless experience.

Spanish translation

The app can now be set so its text and audio are in Spanish. To switch to Spanish, select it as the default language in your device settings. The app’s visual and TalkBack interface will adjust.

International language search option

Explore the new international language search option by choosing up to four languages in the app’s settings. Filter search results by selecting your preferred language.

Navigate to: App’s Settings > User Account Settings > Language Preferences > Select up to four languages.

When accessing Get Books – Search, you will have up to four languages based on your settings. Default languages are English and Spanish if no changes are made.

Compatibility and User Guide update

  • The app supports Android OS versions 9–14.
  • Please note that the User Guide is being updated and will be added later.

Users should be able to update supported Android devices by February 1, 2024. BARD Mobile users can confirm that they are running the latest version by checking the bottom of the app’s Settings screen.

New BARD Download Limits

Beginning February 6, 2024, NLS patrons will be allowed to download no more than 250 books and magazines from BARD in any rolling thirty-day period. This download maximum includes both audio and braille titles, and across all BARD platforms. This means if you download 200 unique items using BARD Express, you can still download another 50 titles using the BARD mobile app on your smart device.

The download limit is calculated by adding up the number of “unique titles” downloaded. You can download the same title on additional devices in the same thirty-day period without that download counting against the limit.

Many Faces of BARD Program: Using BARD Mobile for Android for Low Vision Users

Join the National Library Service (NLS) for the Many Faces of BARD program on Thursday, December 14, at 6:00 p.m. (Central) covering BARD Mobile for Android for Low Vision Users.

BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download service and is a registered trademark for the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.

Registration is not required. The session is scheduled for one hour with time for questions. Click on the link to join: https://tinyurl.com/yfems3y7.

NLS Many Faces of BARD Program: Using BARD Mobile for iOS Without VoiceOver

Join the National Library Service (NLS) for the Many Faces of BARD program on Thursday, November 9, at 6:00 p.m. (Central) covering how to use BARD Mobile for iOS without VoiceOver.

BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download service.

Registration is not required. The session is scheduled for one hour with time for questions. Click on the link to join: https://tinyurl.com/8mb65hne

This presentation is for individuals with low vision, so the screen will be displayed.

Uber Hourly Rides

The ride share Uber is now offering hourly rides. This means that a passenger can schedule more than one ride with the same driver and make multiple stops within a given period of time. Passengers can also alter / update the schedule during the rides.

This new feature is especially helpful for passengers with disabilities, who in the past had to schedule each ride separately for trips to places such as medical appointments, the pharmacy, grocery shopping, child care, and employment.

If you have an Uber account, access the app on your smartphone to set up hourly rides.