FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Thursday, September 7, 2006
Category: 
John G. Paré Jr.
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2371
(410) 913-3912 (Cell)

Austin American-Statesman Now Available on NFB-NEWSLINE®

Austin, Texas / Baltimore, Maryland (September 7, 2006): The National Federation of the Blind and the Austin American-Statesman are pleased to announce a new addition to a service for blind and disabled readers in Austin. Now these readers will be able to access their local newspaper by calling NFB-NEWSLINE®. This free service allows those who cannot read conventional newsprint due to a physical disability to listen to it over a telephone. NFB-NEWSLINE® currently delivers the newspaper in audio format to over 50,000 subscribers.

“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.

“In keeping with our commitment of community outreach, we are pleased to partner with the National Federation of the Blind to offer this free audio service,” said Mike Laosa, publisher of the Austin American-Statesman. “This service will provide the entire content of our daily newspaper in an easy to access format for our visually impaired citizens.”

Mike Vrabel, a visually impaired Central Texan who helped jump-start the project, said, “Having good local news available is a great asset to the blind community.”

Using a synthetic speech engine, NFB-NEWSLINE® delivers the Austin American-Statesman and over 230 other participating publications to its subscribers each day. Content is acquired electronically via a direct feed from the newspaper. It is accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, through a local or toll-free telephone number.

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 Texas Talking Book Program at (800) 252-9605, call the National Federation of the Blind at (866) 504-7300, or visit them online at http://www.nfbnewsline.org.