Technology helps the visually impaired enjoy books -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Technology helps the visually impaired enjoy books


More and more, everyday, modern technology comes to the aid of those who are visually handicapped, unable to hold a book or read a good story like many of us without disabilities.

Braille and Audio Reading Download- BARD- helps people who are blind, visually impaired or have a physical disability enjoy books by downloading audio and braille books to their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, which means no more heavy equipment or big bulky books needed.

The new technologies are now available through the Apple App Store, free, as are all services provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in the Library of Congress.

HERE'S HOW TO DO IT – Google it by typing in the search box the following: "BARD mobile applications."  You will get a long list of  options.  Look down until you see "BARD Mobile for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch on the tunes app store."   Click on it and the website comes up where you can order your free items.

Serving a 22 county area of Southwest Georgia, registered users also have access to BARD  available through the Southwest Georgia Library for Accessible Services in Bainbridge, (229-248-2680).  BARD contains nearly 50,000 books, magazines and music scores in audio and braille formats, with new selections added daily.

If you are not registered to receive these free services, the Bainbridge Library for Accessible Services can help.

In Bainbridge, the staff of Accessible Services explains that with BARD Mobile patrons can play talking books and magazines on their iOS devices.  Patrons may also read electronic braille books, magazines and music scores using a refreshable braille display connected to their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch through Bluetooth.  Patrons will be able to receive their free reading materials faster and won't have to be weighted down with bulky volumes or playback equipment.

Informational websites are available through the Library in Bainbridge:, and an online catalog at . 

Patrons can also go to  or call the Bainbridge number listed above or the national number, 1-888-657-7323.

Most patrons of Southwest Georgia are familiar with the Talking Book Library where audio books are provided free on cartridges for use with digital playback equipment that provides high-level navigation capability, high-quality sound and other features, which are provided at no cost to the reader.



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