Release Date: 
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Michael Barber
National Federation of the Blind of Iowa
(515) 771-8348
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

NFB-NEWSLINE® Celebrates the Sioux City Journal 

Newspaper is Accessible to the Blind

Des Moines, Iowa (May 2, 2012): The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa (NFBI) announced today that on May 8, NFB-NEWSLINE® and the Sioux City Journal will host an open house at the Sioux City Public Library, held from 10:00 a.m. –3:00 p.m.  This event will showcase how people who are blind or visually impaired can have on-demand access to the Sioux City Journal over the telephone or through the Internet, 24-hours-a-day, using NFB-NEWSLINE®.  NFB-NEWSLINE® is available at no cost to blind or print-disabled persons, and the open house will help people to understand how eligible persons can sign up for this valuable service.  Members of the public can come to the open house, learn how blind or visually impaired people can read the newspaper without sighted assistance, and find out about other helpful "hints and tricks" related to blindness and visual impairment.

The Sioux City Journal was added to NFB-NEWSLINE® last winter.  Now, whether a blind or visually impaired individual is a resident of Sioux City or not, he or she can keep up with happenings in the Sioux City community simply by using a standard touch-tone telephone.

NFB-NEWSLINE® provides over 320 newspapers, national magazines, grocery ads, TV listings, public notices, job listings, blindness-specific newsletters, and other information at no charge to its subscribers.  Information is delivered through a conventional, touch-tone telephone or via the Internet, and publications can be read at any time of the day, 365 days a year.  Iowa newspapers available through NFB-NEWSLINE® include: the Burlington Hawkeye, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the Des Moines Register, the Iowa City Press Citizen, the Mason City Globe Gazette, the Quad City Times, the Waterloo Currier, and now, the Sioux City Journal.

Peggy Chong, NFB-NEWSLINE® coordinator in Iowa, said that in addition to important news items, NFB-NEWSLINE® also provides helpful information to people who may have recently lost their sight.  "Sometimes," Chong said, "knowing about a simple nonvisual technique or strategy can help a person who is new to blindness decide that he or she can still be a productive member of the community and that life is still worth living."

"Over twenty years ago, this country passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)," said Michael Barber, President, National Federation of the Blind of Iowa.  "While it did make it easier for the blind to use elevators, it did not help us to read the daily newspaper, which continues to be a huge source of information for all Americans.  So in 1995, the blind of America took matters into their own hands and developed what is now known as NFB-NEWSLINE®, a service which, today, offers blind individuals access to more newspapers and other information than that enjoyed by most Americans.”

Regarding the Sioux City Journal, Barber said that he was extremely pleased with the Journal's enthusiastic cooperation with and willingness to be a part of NFB-NEWSLINE®.  He expressed the hope that sharing our simple tips and tricks with people who attend the May 8 event will help the public—including folks who might be newly-blind—to understand that blind people are just normal individuals who cannot see.  "That would make my day!"  Barber added.