The Maryland State Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (LBPH)
415 Park Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201-3603
Phone Baltimore metro area: (410) 230-2424
Phone outside metro area: (800) 964-9209
TDD Baltimore metro area: (410) 333-8679
TDD outside metro area: (800) 934-2541
Fax: (410) 333-2095
Web site: www.lbph.lib.md.us
Hours: 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. M-F; 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. second Saturday of the month
The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped offers free library service to people unable to read or handle ordinary books and magazines because of a visual or physical disability. The Library provides a variety of materials on popular subjects, current events, and best sellers. Materials are available in large type and Braille. Thousands of audio books and magazines are available on cassette, Cd, digital cartridges and by downloading from the National Library Service's BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) website. Patrons may either visit the library, browse online or have materials mailed free of charge. The library also provides players and selected accessories.
This service is provided as a part of a national program administered by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress.
Information: (410) 659-9314 or (866) 504-7300
Obtain a local NFB-Newsline® Dial in Number: (888) 882-1629
Web site: http://www.nfbnewsline.org
NFB-NEWSLINE® for the Blind is the world's first free talking newspaper service, which offers consumers the complete texts of more than 300 leading national and local newspapers and 40 magazines with the use of only a touch-tone telephone. NFB-Newsline® also provides access to television program listings, job listings, weather forecasts, some advertisements, and emergency alerts. Some of the magazines included in the NFB-Newsline® service are publications by AARP, The New Yorker, The Economist, and Diabetes Self Management. NFB-Newsline® also offers a few publications in Spanish.
NFB-Newsline® provides access to such newspapers as the New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Cumberland Times News, Easton Star Democrat, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal by telephone, e-mail, podcast, and an app for the iPhone. Any person who cannot read conventional newsprint can qualify. Subscribers can access this free service in the early morning of the publication date. The daily papers remain available for two days; the Sunday papers remain available for the week.
How to Sign Up
Anyone who cannot read printed newspapers due to blindness or a physical disability is eligible to receive NFB-NEWSLINE®. Register by calling the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped 410-230-2424, or by calling the National Federation of the Blind toll-free at 1 (866) 504-7300 to request an application. You may also download an application in PDF format or fill out our online form to register. After your registration is processed, you'll receive a letter containing your activation codes and instructions for how to begin reading the newspaper with NFB-NEWSLINE®.
The Metropolitan Washington Ear, Inc., is a nonprofit organization providing free reading and information services for people who are blind, visually impaired, or physically disabled who cannot effectively read print. Volunteers read most articles from the Washington Post and USA Today into a computer. Readers can select from these recordings and others by using their telephones. Other publications made available include Time, Washingtonian, People magazine, Disability News Scan, Heloise A-Z, Practical Tips For Everyday Living, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Times, African American Magazines and Newspapers, Public Service Announcements, and announcements of Audio Described TV, Theaters and Movies. A radio reading service also provides articles selected from newspapers, magazines and books, broadcast over special receivers, available free of charge. In addition, The Washington Ear provides an audio description service for selected live theater performances via a small FM radio transmitter.
The Radio Reading Network of Maryland serves people who cannot read standard print. Volunteers read portions of selected newspapers and magazines, including The Baltimore Sun, New York Times, Washington Post, Afro-American, Wall Street Journal, Jewish Times, and various County papers. Magazines read regularly include Time, People, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Fortune. This service is broadcast on sub-carriers of WBJC in Baltimore, WFWM in Frostburg, and WESM in Princess Anne.
Learning Ally, formerly RFB&D, is a national organization providing audio textbooks, library services and educational resources to those who cannot read standard print because of a visual, physical, or perceptual disability. Learning Ally specializes in textbooks and books needed in various professions. Books are produced in digital format and can be played on specialized talking book players and apps for iOS and Android phones and tablets. A membership fee is required.
Bookshare.org is an online library that enables members who have visual impairments, reading, or other print disabilities to legally share thousands of accessible electronic books and periodicals. An annual subscription fee is required for non-students. Bookshare Members download books and magazines in a compressed, encrypted file. They then read the material using adaptive technology, typically software that reads the book aloud (text-to-speech) and/or displays the text of the book on a computer screen, or Braille access device. Materials are also available by means of apps for iOS and Android devices.
Blio is e-book reading software for Windows, iOS, and Android devices created by K-NFB Reading Technologies. The Blio bookstore contains hundreds of thousands of titles from several major publishers. The majority of books must be purchased. These books can be read on a braille device or through text-to-speech screen reading software.