TAB to begin offering special format materials for visually impaired readers


September 6, 2019

Do you know someone who’s visually impaired and finds it difficult to read? Now there’s a way for that person to listen to stories and news from The Alabama Baptist (TAB) as well as a variety of other books and information in a format that comes to him or her in the mail for free. 

The Alabama Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH) partners with the National Library Service (NLS) to offer special format materials and specialized playback equipment free of charge to those qualifying for their services. 

According to the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS), the first step is to determine if the person qualifies for services. 

Anyone is eligible for these services if he or she meets at least one of these conditions: 

  • Is legally blind
  • Cannot read standard print with corrected vision
  • Physically cannot hold a book or turn its pages
  • Has been diagnosed by a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy with a reading disability as a result of an organic dysfunction
  • Is deaf-blind.

Anyone with at least one of the visual impairments listed can apply for services by following these three steps outlined by the APLS:

1. Download and complete the application form found at www.tabonline.org/application. 

2. Have a doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist, nurse, therapist or a professional staff member of a hospital, institution or welfare agency certify the qualifying visual impairment.

3. Mail the application to the closest cooperating library. The libraries providing the service are listed at www.loc.gov/nls/find.html. You may also call 888-657-7323 for an address.

Once your friend or family member receives the playback equipment, sign up to receive the weekly TAB News audio digest by calling 205-870-4720, ext. 118, or email tabnews@thealabamabaptist.org. We will send the latest issues of TAB News on individual cartridges in special mailers. 

As soon as the first issue has been completed it can be returned simply by putting the cartridge back in the special mailer, flipping the address card over and dropping the package back in the mail. No need to worry with postage or filling out anything. It is all covered.

Listen to TAB News

When we receive the audio cartridge back we’ll load it up with more stories and news and send it back so the cycle never ends. This same routine also works with audio resources available from the library. 

The reason we send two cartridges of TAB News on the first installment is so there’s always one to listen to while one is cycling through the return, reload and resend process. 

We are so excited to help your friend or family member with this opportunity. Let us know if we can help answer any questions. 

For more information contact Janet Erwin at 205-870-4720, ext. 101, or email jerwin@thealabamabaptist.org. (TAB)

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