The Braille Monitor                                                                                January/February 1502

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NFB NEWSLINEŽ Goes Nationwide on March 1, 2002

by Peggy Chong

From the Editor: Peggy Chong directs the NEWSLINEŽ program. Here is her exciting announcement:

Developed by the National Federation of the Blind, NEWSLINEŽ is a free service used by blind subscribers to read newspapers through any touch-tone telephone. Thanks to a one-year grant through the Institution of Museums and Libraries, subscribers in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico will soon be able to access every newspaper that NEWSLINE currently supports. Although NEWSLINE has covered large population areas in over thirty states for the past few years, over half of our country has not been able to access it without calling long distance. As soon as this service is online, any blind person registered for NEWSLINE can dial a toll-free number to access all the newspapers carried on the service.

Readers already using NEWSLINE will find the new expanded service just as easy to use. Pick up any touch-tone phone, dial the NEWSLINE number, listen to the menu, and choose options by tapping numbers on the phone keypad. Instead of the usual three national papers available each morning, subscribers can read over fifty newspapers across the country. Consider how interesting it will be to read the newspaper for a city in which a big story is breaking. In addition, NEWSLINE's non-newspaper features, which are currently available in each area, will now be available with all of the newspapers.

To obtain the toll-free number for this new nationwide service and to check for updated information, watch for our announcement in the next issue of the Braille Monitor, call the local news option on your local NEWSLINE, or contact a local leader of the NFB in your community.

Have you submitted your application to NEWSLINE yet? If not, get a copy of the one-page form, fill it out completely, and return it to NEWSLINE, National Center for the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. Because NEWSLINE service requires a signature, prospective subscribers must acquire or copy a print NEWSLINE application form. The form follows this article, and the print version may be used. A copy may also be downloaded from <www.nfb.org> (see NEWSLINE); those who read the Monitor on cassette or in Braille may recreate the form as long as it is complete and includes a signature. Forms are often available from public libraries, and they may be requested from local leaders of the NFB or the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore.

One last note--this free service has been avidly received by both the newly blind and those who have been blind so long they have never before had the chance to read the newspaper independently. NEWSLINE hereby requests all subscribers to help us to spread the word in their communities about this wonderful opportunity. Please help us announce it in church and synagogue bulletins, senior citizen centers and retirement housing, the social service offices of hospitals, public libraries, libraries for the blind, AARP meetings, and other community outlets. Let's spread the word to special education departments, teachers, or schools serving blind students, and anywhere else Americans can be found who cannot read the newspapers because of their eyesight. National headlines or local stories, sports, Ann Landers, or letters to the editor and social commentary--there is much that our sighted neighbors and coworkers are enjoying, thinking about, and talking about. Now we can too.


Newsline Application/Registration Form

National Federation of the Blind

National Newsline for the Blind Network

1800 Johnson Street

Baltimore, Maryland 21230

NAME_____________________________________________-

ADDRESS__________________________________________________

CITY ___________________ STATE ___________ ZIP _________

HOME PHONE ( )__________________ WORK PHONE ( )__________________

I am registered with a state or private vocational rehabilitation agency for the blind.

[ ] Yes [ ] No If yes, please give name below:

I am enrolled in a public school special education program for the blind or state residential school for the blind.

[ ] Yes [ ] No

If yes, please specify:

I am registered with a cooperating regional library under the program of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.

[ ] Yes [ ] No

If yes, please specify:

If you answered no to all the above questions, you must include with this application a letter from one of the following certifying that you are blind.

[ ] Your doctor

[ ] Social Security Award letter

[ ] President of a local chapter or state affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind

I certify that I am blind or visually impaired and unable to read a printed newspaper.

Signature and date: _________________________________

OFFICE USE ONLY:

ID# SEC# DATE NUMBERS GIVE

Please return the completed form to the above address.

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