FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Category: 
John G. Paré Jr.
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2371
(410) 913-3912 (Cell)

Free Service Makes Newspapers Accessible to Blind and Visually Impaired Delaware Residents

Division of Libraries Begins Offering NFB-NEWSLINE® During National Library Week

Dover, Delaware (April 25, 2007): Beginning today, blind and visually impaired Delaware residents will be able to enjoy 250 newspapers, including one local Delaware newspaper, through a service called NFB-NEWSLINE®.  The service makes content from participating newspapers and magazines accessible on-demand by touch-tone phone twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Offered in forty other states, NFB-NEWSLINE® is now available in Delaware through the Delaware Division of Libraries.   "With support from the administration and the General Assembly, and appropriately launched during National Library Week, we're pleased to offer NFB-NEWSLINE®, ensuring that information is available in a variety of formats to address the needs of our users," said Annie Norman, State Librarian and Director of the Delaware Division of Libraries.

The NFB-NEWSLINE® system reformats the digital transmissions of participating newspapers and converts them to synthetic speech.  The available newspapers include the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, and now the Wilmington News Journal among many others, including four Spanish-language newspapers and varied magazines. 

“The daily newspaper remains unparalleled as an information source for all individuals, enhancing their lives as professionals, students, parents, and community members,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind.

Subscribers are given an access code and then call a toll-free or local number to enter the NFB-NEWSLINE® system.  They can browse the papers, choosing or skipping articles as they wish. 

The system reads each article aloud.  The menu allows the user to change the speed and voice and to search for a particular word or subject. 

"Staying informed about important issues helps all of us to fully participate at work and in our communities.  The NFB-NEWSLINE® service makes it possible for blind and visually impaired Delawareans to have easy access to timely information.  It is very empowering to read the same articles at the same time as regular print readers," said Debbie Briddell, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Delaware.

All individuals who are physically unable to read print are eligible to subscribe free of charge to NFB-NEWSLINE®.  To subscribe or to request more information, contact the Delaware Division of Libraries at (800) 282-8676.  For further information, call the National Federation of the Blind at (866) 504-7300, or visit them online at http://www.nfbnewsline.org/.