New Free Reading Tool Available For Blind And Physically Disabled

Wednesday, December 4, 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.


Former Chattanooga Teacher And Administrator Featured In National Magazine

Charles McKenzie, a Chattanooga local and the first in his family to go to college, returned to Chattanooga to teach, eventually becoming a supervisor.  His inspiring story is featured in the 2015 edition of Life Care LEADER magazine, a publication of Life Care Centers of America.  Mr. McKenzie taught at schools across Chattanooga during his 30-year career, including ... (click for more)

Members Of Pickin And Grin'n Volunteering At Life Care Center Of Hixson Win THCP Group Volunteer Award

Members of Pickin and Grin’n, who volunteer every week at Life Care Center of Hixson, have received the Tennessee Health Care Association’s 2015 Group Volunteer Award. This award recognizes the group or organization that best exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism in the nursing home setting. For 19 years, this group has provided musical entertainment for the residents. Despite ... (click for more)

Crowd Packs Lindsey Street Hall For Presidential Candidate Rubio

A Chattanooga crowd packed the Lindsey Street Hall for presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Thursday afternoon. Former Congressman Zach Wamp, the statewide Rubio chairman, helped build the frenzy with a spirited introduction. "I believe in him 100 percent," he said of the 44-year-old junior Florida senator. The candidate stepped onto the stage of the former church just after ... (click for more)

Mississippi Couple Injured In Tragic Wreck At Ooltewah Exit Asking $1.5 Million In Damages

A Mississippi couple who said they suffered severe injuries in the June 25 wreck at the Ooltewah exit of I-75 in which six people were killed are suing for $1.5 million. John and Nancy Stanley, of Braxton, Miss., filed suit in Federal Court in Chattanooga. They are suing the driver of the truck that plowed into eight vehicles, Benjamin Brewer, as well as the owner of the truck, ... (click for more)

Who's Responsible For East Ridge's Stadium? - And Response (2)

There just can be no excuse for East Ridge High School's stadium being in such dangerous condition that it has been condemned.   Where is responsible for this? I know there are a few other stadiums like this as well. And there is no excuse for this.  Building new and beautiful schools, state of the art technology. Top athletic facilities as well. Yet, East Ridge ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Every Child Must Watch This

In the course of my day, I read different websites, am sent all kinds of neat videos and I love the jokes I get. But when I logged onto my ever-bulging email account Thursday morning, I happened across the scariest, most terrifying video I have ever watched. There is a website I check called “Atchuup” that boasts “cool stories daily.” Some are pretty good but this one nearly knocked ... (click for more)