Future Reflections                                                                                          Spring, 2002

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NFB – NEWSLINE® Goes Nationwide on

March 1, 2002

by Peggy Chong

Editor’s Note: Peggy Chong directs the NFB – NEWSLINE® program. Here is her exciting announcement:

Developed by the National Federation of the Blind, NFB – NEWSLINE® is a free service used by blind subscribers to read newspapers through any touch-tone telephone. Thanks to a one-year grant through the Institution of Museums and Libraries, subscribers in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico will soon be able to access every newspaper that NFB – NEWSLINE® currently supports. Although NFB – NEWSLINE® has covered large population areas in over thirty states for the past few years, over half of our country has not been able to access it without calling long distance. As soon as this service is online, any blind person registered for NFB – NEWSLINE® can dial a toll-free number to access all the newspapers carried on the service.

Readers already using NFB – NEWSLINE® will find the new expanded service just as easy to use. Pick up any touch-tone phone, dial the NFB – NEWSLINE® number, listen to the menu, and choose options by tapping numbers on the phone keypad. Instead of the usual three national papers available each morning, subscribers can read over fifty newspapers across the country. Consider how interesting it will be to read the newspaper for a city in which a big story is breaking. In addition, NFB – NEWSLINE®’s non-newspaper features, which are currently available in each area, will now be available with all of the newspapers.

The toll-free number is (888) 882-1629. This number will work for you if you have signed up for this program.

Have you submitted your application to NFB – NEWSLINE® yet? If not, use the one-page form on page 36 in this issue, fill it out completely, and return it to NFB – NEWSLINE®, National Center for the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. Because NFB – NEWSLINE® service requires a signature, prospective subscribers must acquire or copy a print NFB – NEWSLINE® application form.  A copy of the form may also be downloaded from <www.nfb.org> (see NFB – NEWSLINE®); those who read the Monitor on cassette or in Braille may recreate the form as long as it is complete and includes a signature. Forms are often available from public libraries, and they may be requested from local leaders of the NFB or the National Center for the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230; (410) 659-9314; fax: (410) 685-5653.

One last note – this free service has been avidly received by both the newly blind and those who have been blind so long they have never before had the chance to read the newspaper independently. NFB – NEWSLINE® hereby requests all subscribers to help us to spread the word in their communities about this wonderful opportunity. Please help us announce it in church and synagogue bulletins, senior citizen centers and retirement housing, the social service offices of hospitals, public libraries, libraries for the blind, AARP meetings, and other community outlets. Let’s spread the word to special education departments, teachers or schools serving blind students, and anywhere else Americans can be found who cannot read the newspapers because of their eyesight. National headlines or local stories, sports, Ann Landers, or letters to the editor and social commentary–there is much that our sighted neighbors and coworkers are enjoying, thinking about, and talking about. Now we can too.

A Dozen Ways Students Benefit from

by Georgia Kitchen
Michigan NFB – NEWSLINE® volunteer coordinator.

With NFB – NEWSLINE® blind and visually impaired students can…

° Complete civic assignments independently

° Keep abreast of the latest in sports news

° Track the latest weather conditions around the country and around the world

° Keep informed about the most current movies and other entertainment

° Read the latest news-breaking stories

° Discover the latest in the fine arts of dance, art, music, and theater by reading up-to-date reviews

° Read articles in the Wall Street Journal concerning the latest developments in business, finance, and the stock market

° Keep up on the latest in science and health by reading these sections on Tuesday in the New York Times

° Read the Life section of USA Today and learn about the latest in fashions, movies, television specials, travel, and much more

° Keep up on the latest in computer technology by reading the Circuit section of the New York Times on Thursday

° Discover the latest in literature by reading the Book Review sections of national papers

° Read the news sections of national papers and discover what our lawmakers in Washington are doing

And much, much, more.

Increase your available resources for enjoyment, learning, and studying through access to 50 newspapers on a daily basis—sign up for NFB –  NEWSLINE®!

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