Braille Monitor                                                             February 2007

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Breakthrough Technology Provides Television Listings
on NFB-NEWSLINE®

by Eileen B. Hogan

From the Editor: Eileen Hogan is the sponsored technology outreach manager for NFB-NEWSLINE®. If you enjoy watching television, she has some exciting news that you have been waiting for. TV listings are now available on NEWSLINE. Here are the details:

At long last television listings on NFB-NEWSLINE® are a reality. For the first time ever, blind and visually impaired Americans have independent access to local TV listings in one place and only a telephone call away. Until we launched this feature on December 20, 2006, this information had not been readily available to blind people in a usable format. NFB-NEWSLINE® has once again used technology to provide landmark information to its subscribers. Partnership with Zap2It television listings has made this valuable information possible. Zap2It is a product of Tribune Media Services and is the leading source of entertainment listings in the country.

NFB-NEWSLINE® is the only free, all-electronic national news service for the blind and disabled. Currently NFB-NEWSLINE® provides over 240 newspapers and magazines on demand twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, accessible through a touch-tone telephone. In July 2006 the option to receive newspapers electronically to your email address was added to NFB-NEWSLINE®. Now this newest feature gives the subscriber the local TV scheduling information. The user can then customize the channel lineup to find out what is on his or her favorite channels. By simply entering the zip code, source of TV reception, and time zone, blind users will have quick and easy access to local TV listings. The listings are interactive because the user can navigate and choose among date, time, and channel listings. After a user enters the local zip code, he or she is presented with a list of cable and satellite providers in the area. The user can also indicate the use of a television antenna.

Current NFB-NEWSLINE® subscribers can access the TV listings right away. Here’s how it works. Pressing #8 on the NFB-NEWSLINE® menu will bring you into the TV listings section. Then tell us where you are located and how you receive your television signal by following the prompts to enter your zip code and select your service provider from the menu. Then select your time zone.

After you complete these steps, NFB-NEWSLINE® will retrieve your programming information. It will start at the first channel in your lineup. You must then navigate through the listings by entering commands using the keypad. For help with these commands at any time, press the pound key (#).

Pressing 1 goes back one channel.
Pressing 3 goes forward one channel.
Pressing 2 allows you to jump to a different time, date, or channel.
Pressing 4 goes back to the previous program on the current channel.
Pressing 6 goes forward to the next program on the current channel.
Pressing 7 slows down the speaking speed, and pressing 9 speeds up the speaking speed as it does in newspaper articles.
Pressing 0 pauses for sixty seconds, as it does elsewhere on the system.

Remember to press the pound key for help at any time with these features. After pressing the pound key, you can press the numbers on the keypad to identify the function they perform.

At the first menu in the TV listings, you can press 5 to create your Favorites List. The system will bring up the channel lineup you have selected. By pressing keys 1 and 3 you can navigate through the channels to find the ones you wish to add. Pressing 4 adds the channel to your list of favorites. At this point you will be prompted to keep the channel number assignment or to change it.

Those of you who receive your television signal with an antenna can also retrieve your listings. However, you will need to create a Favorites List in order to assign the proper channel number to your channel. Listen for the call letters of your local channel and then add it to your Favorites List. You will then have the opportunity to assign a number to that channel.

If a satellite company provides your service, the local antenna channels will be imported into the beginning of your lineup. You can create a Favorites List to assign numbers to these channels.

After your favorite channels have been set up in your Favorites List, you can go directly to them when you call again by going into TV Listings and pressing #4. You will then hear your favorites in ascending numerical order. To advance to your next favorite, press 3 to advance or 1 to go back, as in the original instructions.

We at NFB-NEWSLINE® are pleased to add this new feature to the service, and we hope you enjoy it. If you would like to sign up for NFB-NEWSLINE® or have any questions about the service, please call us toll-free at (866) 504-7300. You may also visit <www.nfbnewsline.org> for more information.

 

NFB-NEWSLINE® APPLICATION/REGISTRATION FORM

1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230
(866) 504-7300 • fax (410) 685-5653 • www.nfbnewsline.org

Name ________________________________________________________________________
Address ______________________________________________________________________
City ______________________________ State _____________________ Zip ____________
Home Phone ( ) _________________________ Work Phone ( ) ______________________
E-mail ______________________________________

I am registered with a state or private vocational rehabilitation agency for the blind or disabled. ? Yes ? No

If yes, please give name:

I am enrolled in a public school special education program for the blind or state residential school for the blind or disabled.
___ 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, which certifies that you are blind or unable to read newsprint due to a disability.

___ Your doctor

___ Social Security award letter

___ President of a local chapter or state affiliate of the NFB

___ Teacher or counselor of the visually impaired or disabled

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

SIGNATURE _________________________________ DATE ___________________

PLEASE RETURN THE COMPLETED FORM TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS OR FAX NUMBER.

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