Building the Lives We Want

From its beginning in 1940, the National Federation of the Blind has been the driving force behind a powerful people's movement. It has raised expectations, shattered assumptions, and broken down barriers to secure the full participation of blind people in every aspect of society. Building the Lives We Want traces the history of the blindness movement from its dawn in the nineteenth century to the founding of the Federation in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The story continues with the first efforts at grassroots organizing and the emergence of the Federation as an instrument of change. The book portrays Federationists working tirelessly for access to education, employment, and equal rights.

The work of the Federation has been carried forward through the dedicated efforts of thousands of men and women fighting for equality, security, and opportunity for all blind people. This ebook brings the story of the movement to life through the voices of its leaders and rank-and-file members. In addition to the extensive material in the text itself, the book amplifies the story through dozens of photographs and hundreds of links to articles, speeches, and songs. It demonstrates how, through seventy-five years of collective action, working together with love, hope, and determination, blind people are finding the freedom to build the lives they want.

Download the Book:

How do I read the book?

The solutions described below are not the only readers that will support the EPUB file, they are merely possibilities and methods that we know will work for blind people.

How do I read the book on my iOS device?

Open this page in the Safari web browser and tap the link for the EPUB file. When the book loads, you will see buttons to "Open in..." and "Open in iBooks". Tapping "Open in iBooks" will load the book into the iBooks reader (which has been pre-loaded on iOS for several years). Tapping "Open in..." will allow you to import the book into other EPUB readers such as Voice Dream.

How do I read the book on a hardware digital talking book player?

With this page open on your computer, activate the link for the EPUB file. When prompted, save the file somewhere you can find it on your computer. You will need to copy the EPUB file from where you saved it to the player's memory (this may be internal, or an SD card, depending on the player). Save the file in the appropriate folder on your player. Depending on your device, there may be a specific folder to save the file in; consult the manual for details. Note that this book cannot be played on the players distributed to patrons by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

How do I read the book on my computer?

You have two choices:

  1. You can download a free copy of Adobe Digital Editions, an accessible book reader for Windows and Mac computers which will read EPUB files through your screen access program's voice. If, when you activate the link for the EPUB file above, it does not automatically open in Adobe Digital Editions, save the file somewhere you can find it on your computer, then use the "Add to Library" item in Digital Editions' file menu to navigate to the book and add it to the program's library. Once added, use your arrow keys to navigate to the book and press ENTER to open it.
  2. You may download the zipped HTML version of the book and save it to your computer. Once downloaded, create a new folder and extract (copy) the files from the zip file into the new folder. In the new folder, open building-the-lives-we-want.html. The book will then open in your web browser. Use the Table of Contents or the "Next" and "Previous" page links to move between book sections.

How do I read the MOBI file in an Amazon Kindle App?

Open this page in a web browser on the device with the Kindle Reader. Activate the link for the .mobi file. If prompted instruct your device to open the file in Kindle.