Adaptive Services Division
901 G Street, NW, #215, Washington, DC 20001
Telephone: 202-727-2142 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon. & Tues. Noon-9:00; Wed., Thur., Fri. 9:30-5:30
LBPH Inside the Beltway: a Newsletter
Volume 20, Number 2 Fall 2010
Adaptive Services News
National Disability Employment Awareness Month plans include—
October 1-31—Art-by-people-with-disabilities exhibit by VSA Arts in
East and West Lobbies of the second floor.
Saturday, October 9—Accessibility Camp DC, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm.
Computer professionals and users discuss current and future developments
in Adaptive Technology. Call Patrick Timony at 202-727-2142.
Tuesday, October 19—2010 Mayor‘s Annual Disability Awareness
Conference ―Towards Full Inclusion – Let‘s Achieve It!‖ at Martin Luther
King, Jr. Public Library, 901 G St., NW, Great Hall, 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM.
Free Admission. Topics will include: Community Inclusion, Workforce De-
velopment and District Resources, Programs and Services. Register online
at http://2010dcdac.eventbrite.com or by fax 202-727-9484. To learn more
information about the 2010 Mayor‘s Annual Conference please contact
Christina Mitchell or Mat McCullough at 202-724-5055 or www.odr.dc.gov.
Tuesday, October 26—Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind Employment
Connection Fair. Martin Luther King Library, 901 G Street NW, noon-4:00.
Qualified blind and visually impaired individuals seeking employment as
Switchboard Operator; Mailroom Clerk; Help Desk (Oracle); or Document
Prep Specialist, come dressed to interview, and bring your current resume.
RSVP email@example.com by October 19. 240-737-5105 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Old Favorite, New Name: Saturday Technology Sessions—We thought
this name better represents the group presentation nature of these sessions
on adaptive technology for personal use, job hunting, and other important
information. They meet 1st and 3rd Saturdays, with program from 1:00 to
3:00 and networking from 3:00 to 4:00.
Game Nights—On November 9th at 6:00 pm, Adaptive Services will host
our first monthly games night for blind and low-vision gamers. All our
games feature braille and/or large print. Games are a fun, interactive way to
promote knowledge, literacy and community for people of all ages. Games
include Scrabble; Bingo; Cards, Trivia and Computer Word games. For
more information, or to offer suggestions, contact Chris Corrigan at (202)
727-2143 or by email at email@example.com .
Washington Volunteer Readers for the Blind by Jean Yablon—WVRB
has had an active summer recording several interesting books:
Before The Frost by Makell Henning: detectives Kurt & Linda Wallander
The Last Summer of the World by Emily Mitchell: WWI historical novel
and The Bolter by Frances Osborne: biography of a scandalous woman
WVRB also records magazines for national distribution. These include
AARP Bulletin, Black Enterprise, NARFE, New York Review of Books &
Washingtonian. Please call 202.727.2142 if you would like to borrow one of
these books or be put on a mailing list to receive a magazine on tape.
Award-winning Staff—Three Adaptive Services staff members were hon-
Patrick Timony, Adaptive Technology Librarian, received the Morris &
Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Award for DC Employees whose contribu-
tions have been exceptional and whose commitment and professionalism
demonstrate the best in public service on May 28.
Janice Rosen, Deaf Services Librarian, was honored for her leadership
in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community with the Hamilton 2010 Deaf
Awareness Week Award. Hamilton Relay provides traditional relay services,
Internet-based relay and Captioned Telephone services and other services
for people with hearing impairments On September 25.
Venetia Demson, Chief of Adaptive Services, was honored with an
award for outstanding leadership at its DC State Convention on October 9.
Digital Transition Update
What’s available or in process—Talking Book Topics (TBT) lists books
being added to the collection in DB (digital) or RC (cassette) in a two-month
period. (The five-digit number is the same for either format.) To include
books previously released and those in process, search the NLS collection
at www.loc.gov/nls or the DC Regional‘s online public access catalog
(OPAC) at http://asrddevc.startlogic.com/opacnew/startup.asp . You can
search our OPAC by author, title or recent issue of TBT. The ability for a
patron to submit an order from the OPAC is in development.
BARD—When Tonia Gatton downloaded the digital talking-book version of
Charlotte's Web to her home computer, she knew she would enjoy a classic
of children's literature. What she didn't know was that she was also making
history with the one millionth piece of reading material delivered by the
Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service. Available since April
30, 2009, BARD serves over 15,000 of NLS's more than 800,000 patrons
with access to over 20,000 titles, with more added each week. Ms. Gatton,
a rehabilitation teacher at the Kentucky Office for the Blind, says, "After only
a little over a year of using BARD, I can't imagine what I did without it."
If you want digital books right away, as well as a larger selection to
choose from, consider signing sign up for BARD. Once registered, you use
a high-speed connection (not dial-up) to transfer the data to your computer,
unzip the file, then to a flash drive for the NLS player or to a privately pur-
chased player. This process can take can take as little as 10 minutes! No
waiting for cartridges to come in the mail! NLS digital books are encrypted
and you must apply to the NLS BARD web site to register as a patron If you
have a privately owned player, that must be registered also. Search ―NLS
BARD application‖ in Google for the application and instructions. Patrons
who would like a one-on-one lesson in BARD are encouraged to call 727-
2142 for an appointment
Cartridges, Cables and Flash drives—Once you download a book, you
must move it to your player. If you are using a purchased machine with in-
ternal memory, you do this with a cable.
For NLS players, you will need a purchased USB drive, also known as
a flash, thumb or stick drive. Look for one that does NOT have U3 software
preloaded, and some brands seem to work better than others. Some of the
more successful ones are Dane Elec, Kingston, Lexar, PNY, Sony and Ver-
batim, with 1, 2 or 4 gigabytes of memory. The flash drive plugs into the
USB port on the right side of the player. (Pop out the plastic plug with a fin-
gernail.) Do not attempt to insert a USB drive into the You can also pur-
chase cartridges just like the NLS model from American Printing House for
the Blind at http://shop.aph.org or 1-800-223-1839, or from Adaptive Tech-
nology Online at www.perkins.org (click on Talking Book accessories) or call
Digital Players—All individual patrons who have requested Digital Talking
Book Machines (DTBMs) have received them. If you would like a player and
do not have one, please let us know. We plan to start working with schools
and other institutional accounts this fall. NLS is no longer ordering new
books on Recorded Cassette (RC), although those in production will contin-
ue to arrive into 2011. This means it is important to have a Digital Machine
by the end of 2010, so you can receive the latest titles.
Headphones—The NLS headphones were developed for the cassette play-
er, and use a connector that is too large for the digital machine. An adaptor
is in process, and we have our order in! Please call and let us know if you
would like to receive one when they come in. If you need one sooner, they
are available at many stores that sell electronics and generally cost $5 to
$10. We suggest taking both the machine and player with you to the store
so you can be certain of getting the correct size plugs.
Shorter player announcements—To shorten the messages on your Stan-
dard Digital player for volume, speed and tone, and lessen interruption to
your books: 1) Remove cartridge from the player, 2) Press and hold ‗Fast
Forward‘ 3) Press and hold ‗Speed Down‘ so both buttons are held down at
the same time for 2 seconds. The player will say ―Reduced verbosity‖ to
confirm. If you decide to return to the longer messages, follow the directions
above, but substitute ‖Speed Up‖ for ―Speed Down‖ until you hear the con-
firmation ―Normal verbosity‖. (The Advanced model automatically shortens
the messages when in use, so this is not necessary.)
Updates & Reminders
Post Office ―crunch‖—Please remember that mail takes longer in Decem-
ber. Order your books early, to avoid being left with nothing to read.
Current patron info—It is essential that we have current mailing address
and telephone for every member. If you change your address or phone,
please call 727-2142, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picking up books—Instead of waiting for books, they can be waiting for
you! If you prefer to pick up your books, it is important for us to know one
day ahead. Our books are on a different floor, and we don‘t always have
someone available to retrieve them.
Returning books—When you return digital books to us, please be sure the
right book is inside. We receive quite a few cases with the wrong DB or no
DB. This always delays the book becoming available to the next users, and
sometimes the DB is lost completely. Keeping track of DBs is especially
important because they cost nearly $9 each to produce, while cassettes
cost less than 50 cents. After you have read your digital books, please send
them back in their correct cases so others can enjoy them, too.
It is most effective to return each book as you finish it, because check-
ing in a book prompts the next one in your request list to go out. The circu-
lation period for RC‘s is three months. DBs and all other material circulate
for one month. Please remember others who are waiting to use the books.
Player problems—If you have player problems, please call us. We may be
able to troubleshoot by phone. If not, we can exchange it for a working one.
We recommend keeping a cassette player for the present. Magazines and
many older books will be available only on cassette for some time.
Closing an LBPH account—A reminder to family members, friends and
patrons who have decided to close their LBPH library account and cancel
service: Players and materials are the property of the Federal Government
and must be returned. Even non-working players must be returned, as we
can often repair them or salvage parts to repair other players.
Beginning with this issue, we are introducing this section especially for
Young Adults and Children. In Libraries, ―Young Adult‖ generally includes
ages 12 to 25, so this section is for you if you were born in 1985 or after!
Braille Book Club Tours the White House—The DC Regional LBPH and
Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind continue their successful partnership with
the Braille Book Club for children who are braille readers. The August 7
meeting offered a real treat—a described tour of the White House! Kareem
Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, attended our
November meeting and invited us to this unique event, which was enjoyed
by all who attended. The first Saturday of each month, kids from 6 to 12
meet from 11 am to noon to share a book, become friends and enjoy
snacks, followed by another interest…
Chess Club—Try our new Chess Club for children and youth who are blind
or have low vision. Lessons are led by Mr. Bennett, a chess instructor at
the library. We meet the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from noon to
about 1:30 in Room 215. Call us for more information.
Scout Handbooks—are now available in digital. The numbers are: DB
70162 Webelos; DB 70163 Cub; DB 70164 Tiger; DB 70165 Venturer; DB
70166 Fieldbook and DB 70167 Boy Scouts Guidebook. If you download
these to your own flash drive, you can keep them as long as you need them.
From the News
Free passes for library patrons—The Museum of America and the Sea in
Mystic, Connecticut, offers available on request from NLS. Mystic Seaport
hosts a variety of events throughout the year. For more information and to
view the calendar, visit http://www.mysticseaport.org. NLS has one pass for
each day of the week, Sunday through Saturday. Each pass provides free
admission to Mystic Seaport for two adults and three children on the printed
day. Patrons who wish to reserve a pass should contact NLS directly by
sending an e-mail to email@example.com . They should include their name, ad-
dress, telephone number, and the date(s) and day(s) of the week they wish
to visit Mystic Seaport, as well as alternate dates for the visit. Passes also
may be requested by writing the Mystic Pass Coordinator, Publications and
Media Section, NLS/BPH, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20542.
Postal service to NLS is subject to security inspection, so letters should be
sent six to eight weeks in advance of the period needed. For more informa-
tion contact: Jane Caulton Head, Publications and Media Section.
Harvard University offers free tuition to low-income undergrads—
Harvard president Lawrence H. Summers says, "When only ten percent of
students in elite higher education come from families in the lower half of the
income distribution, we are not doing enough." If you know a family earning
less than $60,000 a year with an honor student, he or she may be able to go
to Harvard for free--no tuition and no student loans! To find out more about
this offer visit: http://www.fao.fas.harvard.edu/ or call (617) 495-1581.
White Cane Safety Day –To honor the many achievements of blind and vi-
sually impaired Americans and to recognize the white cane's significance in
advancing independence, we observe October 15 of each year as "White
Cane Safety Day."
For centuries, the "cane" was used merely as a tool for travel and it
was not until the twentieth century that the cane, as we know it today, was
promoted for use by the blind as a symbol to alert others to the fact that an
individual was blind. This new role for the white cane had its origins in the
decades between the two World Wars, beginning in Europe and then
spreading to North America. The first White Cane Ordinance in the United
States was passed in December 1930 in Peoria, Illinois. It granted blind pe-
destrians protections and the right-of-way while carrying a white cane. Sev-
eral states passed similar laws. During the early 1960's, several state
organizations and rehabilitation agencies serving the blind and visually im-
paired citizens of the United States urged Congress to proclaim October 15
of each year to be White Cane Safety Day in all fifty states. This event
marked a climatic moment in the long campaign of the organized blind
movement to gain state as well as national recognition for the white cane.
On October 6, 1964, a joint resolution of the Congress, HR 753, was
signed into law authorizing the President of the United States to proclaim
October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day". The resolution read
"Resolved by the Senate and HR. that the President is hereby authorized to
issue annually a proclamation designating October 15 as White Cane Safety
Day and calling upon the people of the United States to observe such a day
with appropriate ceremonies and activities." Within hours of passage of the
congressional resolution, President Lyndon B. Johnson went down in history
as the first to proclaim October 15, as White Cane Safety Day. The Presi-
dential proclamation emphasized the significance of the use of the white
cane as both a tool and as a visible symbol. In the first White Cane Procla-
mation President Johnson commended blind people for the growing spirit of
independence and the increased determination to be self-reliant and digni-
fied. He said in part: "A white cane in our society has become one of the
symbols of a blind person's ability to come and go on his own. Its use has
promoted courtesy and opportunity for mobility of the blind on our streets
During most years since 1964, the President has proclaimed October
15 as White Cane Safety Day. On October 15, 2000, President Bill Clinton
again reminded us of the history of the white cane as a tool, and its purpose
as a symbol: "The white cane has given them the freedom to travel inde-
pendently to their schools and workplaces and to participate more fully in
the life of their communities. it reminds us that the only barriers against
people with disabilities are discriminatory attitudes and practices that our
society has too often placed in their way.‖
Holidays, Library closed: Mon., Oct. 12, Columbus Day
Thur., Nov. 11, Veteran‘s Day Thur., Nov. 25, Thanksgiving
Fri., Dec., 24, Christmas Fri., Dec. 31, New Year‘s
Braille Book Club— Kids 6-12, the 1st Saturday each month 11 to noon.
Chess Club—Youth 6-19, 1st Saturday each month, noon to 1:30
Talking Book Club—2nd Thursday each month, 11:00-1:00 (brown bag wel-
come). Please note—Nov. meeting is 3rd Thurs, due to holiday.
Saturday Sessions—1st and 3rd Saturday each month, 1:00-4:00. To join
the email list for reminders and topics of upcoming programs, call 727-2142.
―Inside the Beltway: A Newsletter‖ is published by the Washington, DC Regional Li-
brary for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, in the Adaptive Services Division of
the DC Public Library. It is sent to patrons who are registered with us and to other in-
terested parties, and is available in large print, on cassette, and by e-mail. To change
your address or format, please contact us by telephone, 202-727-2142 or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org . Serena McGuire, Editor & Reader‘s Advisor.
DC Public Library/LBPH FREE MATTER
Adaptive Services Division FOR THE
901 G Street NW, Room 215 BLIND OR
Washington, DC 20001-4599 HANDICAPPED