NLS has produced three short testimonial videos featuring patrons of the Braille and talking book program. These videos are posted on the Library of Congress YouTube channel. Links with a short description of each video are below.
NLS BARD and BARD Mobile
Patrons speak about the benefits of downloading free braille and talking books, magazines, and music materials through the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) and BARD Mobile. (1:55)
NLS Music Materials
Patrons speak about the benefits of receiving free audio, braille, and large-print music scores, texts, and other instructional materials and recordings in the mail or downloading them through BARD. (2:26)
Although our BARD support team is always happy to assist patrons with any BARD-related question or concern, TBP patrons who use the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) service to download books and magazines may also find the following websites and email discussion lists useful.
BARD Support is an e-mail-based list to which all program participants have the option of subscribing. This is a closed, one-way list to which NLS will occasionally post information of interest to the BARD community.
Enter your e-mail address and select the Submit button. This will bring you to a confirmation page where you’ll be required to confirm your e-mail address and choose your delivery preferences. Finally, select the Submit button to subscribe to the list.
BARD Talk is an online resource and email community that provides BARD users a forum to discuss BARD. It has no official affiliation with NLS or TBP, but is owned and moderated by BARD users. To subscribe to the BARD Talk Yahoo Groups list or check out their FAQ or Quick Start Guide, go to: http://www.bardtalk.com/
DB Review is an email-based community that provides book reviews created by list members. Books reviewed are part of the digital talking book collection of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. It has no official affiliation with NLS or TBP, but is owned and moderated by BARD users You can subscribe using the online form at this website: http://db-review.net/mailman/listinfo/db-review_db-review.net
On Thursday, August 20, 2015, at 1 pm CDT, Hadley will present a one hour overview about the Zoomtext magnifier / speech software. Then on Wednesday, August 26, 2015, also at 1 pm CDT, Hadley will provide a one hour seminar about the vision accessibility features of the Apple operating software for iPhone. Both presentations are free but space is limited.
The long awaited BARD Mobile app for Android is finally here! BARD Mobile is now available in the Google Play store. 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 4.1 or later in order to use the new app.
Here is some information regarding technology news and resources:
In a landmark partnership, Microsoft and GW Micro have combined forces to make Window Eyes software available free to anyone who purchases Microsoft Office products. Window Eyes will now come standard with Microsoft Office Version 10. Window Eyes is a screen reading software program that provides speech and Braille output to people who are blind and visually impaired. Please click on this link for the announcement: www.gwmicro.com/News_&_Events/Latest_News/?newsNo=299
Sitecues, by AI Squared, is a cloud-based, on-demand software tool that allows users to initiate magnification and text to speech capabilities within a web site. This technology can benefit individuals with blindness, low vision, and learning disabilities, as well as non-native speakers. AI Squared is the maker of ZoomText, a magnification and screen reading software product. For more information, including an FAQ, please visit www.sitecues.com
Appcessible is a site that aims to bring app developers and blind users together. Jonathan Mosen, the site creator, hopes that developers will invite members of the blind community to test their apps for accessibility. The web site includes a blog and podcasts: www.appcessible.net
Favor is an app that allows users to request errands from a team of runners. These errands can include anything from groceries to incidentals to take-out food. Individuals place orders and pay through their smartphones. The delivery fee is only $5 plus tip. For now, this service is only available in certain parts of Austin, but the creators hope to expand. This is a great service for individuals with disabilities who have limited transportation options. More information is available at: askfavor.com/index.php
IF you’re a member of the Talking Book Program, and IF you’re registered for BARD, and IF you have an iOS device, TBP has a great new app for downloading audio books to your device. You can download it here:
iBUG, the iOS Blind Users Group, was formed in 2011 out of a session given at the HAVIN Insight Expo at the University of Houston. The group’s goal is to help people become more proficient in using accessbility apps and features of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
iBIUG holds weekly conference calls and monthly face-to-face meetings, and has a website. The weekly Q&A call is held each Monday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The call is a help session for anyone with iOS or iDevice accessibility questions. The first 45 minutes are dedicated to the novice or new user. An app or iOS feature is demonstrated each week by one of the advanced members. The Q&A call is not toll-free, so it is best to use your cell phone or VOIP line to avoid long distance charges. To participate in the weekly call, dial (712) 432-0111. Enter the access code 154497, then the #, also called the pound sign. The calls are recorded and available through the iBUG website as podcasts.
iBUG also has a monthly face-to-face meeting on the fourth Saturday of each month from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Apple Store-Highland Village, 4012 Westheimer in Houston. The next meeting is on Saturday, February 23, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.