New Free Reading Tool Available For Blind And Physically Disabled

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

People who have trouble reading standard print books due to visual or other physical disabilities have a new tool at their disposal: An application that allows them to download books and magazines in audio and digital braille formats onto mobile devices free of charge.

The new BARD Mobile application is compatible with Apple iOS operating systems for versions 4.3 or later. These include iPhones of version 3 or later, iPod Touch versions 4 or later, and all versions of iPad.

The application was developed by the National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which is part of the Library of Congress. Tennessee users must already be registered to use the Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped's Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service in order to use the application.

Using a BARD user identification number and password, users can download the BARD Mobile application from the Apple App store. That will allow access to BARD's web page, where books can be downloaded immediately.

There are more than 34,000 audio books and 12,000 digital braille books available for download through BARD - as well as magazines and music - with new titles being added daily. This includes a selection of more than 120 audio books in 10 different foreign languages.

The BARD web page has been operational since 2010. Prior to the release of the new mobile application, users were able to download books onto personal computers. Those files could then be retrieved and transferred to a digital talking book player or MP3 device designed especially for the blind and visually impaired.

The new application does not require files to be transferred. They can be downloaded and played on the same device, which makes BARD's service easier to use.

BARD's service has become increasingly popular. In the fiscal year that ended September 30, more than 62,000 books and magazines were downloaded by users – an increase of 29 percent over the previous fiscal year. The total number of BARD patrons increased 12 percent over the same time period.

"BARD is a wonderful service that makes books and magazines available to people who have difficulty reading standard print books," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "This new mobile application should make the service even more popular since it’s easier to use. This is one more way we are trying to use technology to provide better service to our customers, the citizens of Tennessee."

The Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is part of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, which is a division within the Secretary of State's office.


Erlanger Opens Sixth Emergency Department To Serve Sequatchie Valley

Residents of the Sequatchie Valley are invited to tour the area’s only 24/7 emergency center during Open House festivities for the new Sequatchie Valley Emergency Department on Sunday from 2 - 4 p.m. (CDT), at 16931 Rankin Avenue in Dunlap, Tn. To celebrate the grand opening of the new emergency center, officials with Erlanger Health System will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Hosts Car Wash And Hot Dog Sale This Saturday

Morning Pointe of Chattanooga will be having a car wash and hot dog sale this Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon at the assisted living facility. All proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.   (click for more)

One Of Oldest Log Homes At University Of The South Suffers Heavy Fire Damage

The oldest log home at the University of the South at Sewanne suffered heavy damage on Friday night. Fire broke out at the historic Rebel’s Rest at approximately 11:30 p.m. Fire units arrived a short time later, but flames were shooting high in the air. Rebel's Roost was built as the family home of Major George Fairbanks a year after the close of the Civil War. The house ... (click for more)

Corker Says Congress Needs Time To Review Plan For VA Reforms

As negotiations between the Senate and the House of Representatives over legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continue,  Senator Bob Corker urged that lawmakers have the opportunity to review a complete Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on any final conference VA bill before taking a vote. “Our veterans deserve solutions to the systemic problems ... (click for more)

Voters Deserve The Truth About Tennessee Supreme Court Justices

I am an experienced trial lawyer, and, frankly, I am dismayed with the negative advertisements and mailers about three of our Tennessee Supreme Court Justices.  These mailers talk about the Justices being liberal and tie them to Obamacare.  Clearly, this propaganda attempts to focus attention away from the Justices themselves to political subjects sensitive to many Tennesseans. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Wrongs Not Right

Scottie Mayfield is a delightful friend of mine but he’s the last guy in the world who should be aiming at anybody’s character. He’s always had class but today Scottie is the “star” of a shameful political commercial in which he assails challenger Weston Wamp on behalf of a panicked Chuck Fleischmann. Mayfield, you’ll remember, ran against the two in the last race for the District ... (click for more)