Print Media Access System Program


Introduction

NFB-NEWSLINE® is a free electronic service that gives any individual who is blind, visually impaired or print disabled access to newspapers, magazines and TV listings 24 hours a day, seven days a week using a touch-tone telephone.  It allows any user to listen to today's newspaper today, over the telephone for free, and access up to two weeks of TV listings in advance.  Users can choose to have selections sent directly to their email address or to their iOS devices.  NFB-NEWSLINE ® also includes a channel containing job listings in which users can search using their own personal criteria.  Currently, users have access to 347 newspapers and 43 magazines, 4 of which are Spanish. In addition, NFB-NEWSLINE® provides access to interactive TV listings and weekly Target advertisements from Target Corporation.  Philadelphia users also enjoy the ability to review advertisements for local grocery chains.

Currently, there are 23 newspapers from Pennsylvania on the NFB-NEWSLINE® system including the Allentown Morning Call, Altoona Mirror, Associated Press Pennsylvania, Bucks County Courier Times, The Butler Eagle, Centre Daily Times, Citizens Voice, Erie Times News, Hanover Evening Sun, Intelligencer Journal Lancaster New Era, Intelligencer Journal Lancaster New Era Online, Lebanon Daily News, Patriots-News, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Pocono Record, Reading Eagle, Times Tribune, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, Williamsport Sun Gazette and the York Dispatch.

In addition to the 23 state newspapers, NFB-NEWSLINE® Pennsylvania subscribers can also read Associated Press articles pertaining to their state, which are updated every hour.  The Associated Press content is the same information that is sent to television and radio stations throughout the state. 

Pennsylvania subscribers to NFB-NEWSLINE® also have access to 43 magazines including some of the most popular titles such as The Economist, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, The Rolling Stone and AARP Magazine.

It is important to note that not only do Pennsylvania subscribers have access to the newspapers previously mentioned, but they also have access to national publications such as The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.  For a complete list of publications available on NFB-NEWSLINE®, please visit www.nfbnewsline.org.  Also, for those on the go, the NFB-NEWSLINE® system can send a subscriber their newspapers via e-mail.  These e-mailed newspapers can then be read on the computer or transferred to portable devices such as the Book Port, Braille Note, Victor Stream and all iOS devices including the iPod, iPad and iPhone, for on-the-go listening.

NFB-NEWSLINE ® subscribers also have access to up-to-date weather broadcasts right from NFB-NEWSLINE ®, both on the phone and through the NFB-NEWSLINE ® Mobile App. Now, NFB-NEWSLINE ® subscribers can access their daily and full weekly weather forecasts from NFB-NEWSLINE ®. Just like the emergency weather alerts, the weather forecasts are provided to each subscriber based on his or her zip code.  Subscribers can access the service in a variety of ways, including the internet, over the telephone and on their iOS devices via NFB-NEWSLINE ® Mobile app.

 

New Enhancements in the Last Quarter

During this quarter, five publications were added to the NFB-NEWSLINE® system. They include one state newspaper from Nebraska, the Norfolk Daily News; two magazines, Everyday with Rachael Ray and Family Fun; and two items in the Breaking News category, The Daily Beast and The Daily Caller.

The NFB of Pennsylvania continued to reconstruct the look of the local channel, improving the user interface and making the channel more organized. Now, the local channel outlines each of the 7 NFB of Pennsylvania chapters and 3 divisions, including their president contact information, news updates, monthly meeting and/or conference call information, fundraising events and other resources specific to that local chapter or division. The local channel is now updated as soon as information is received.

The local channel is included on the NFB-NEWSLINE ®system so that users can be more informed of information having significant interest to them. Meetings and events of local and regional support and advocacy groups of individuals who are blind, including dates, times, locations and agendas, are now posted on this channel and updated as information is received. 

During this quarter, The Pennsylvania Regional Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped have updated their channel, providing direct contacts, information about recent programming, library accessibility resources and new service updates. This information allows users the opportunity to have a centralized area on NFB-NEWSLINE ®to locate all Library information. The channel also provides upcoming events of interest to subscribers. The Library channel outlines needed resource information and other potential opportunities within the state.

A simple-to-use listing of BBVS offices showing addresses, local and toll-free contact numbers and the counties served by each office is continually monitored and updated to include upcoming events, meetings notices and useful resource information.

Press releases are issued from time to time concerning events by blindness organizations that advocate for the rights and protection of individuals who are blind. These are now included and updated weekly.

The NFB-NEWSLINE® Pennsylvania coordinator continues to conduct administration and outreach of NFB-NEWSLINE ®during the quarter. This person manages the eligibility, reporting and outreach for the service. State rehabilitation agency offices and several supportive agencies across the state have been the first visits conducted by the coordinator. The Pennsylvania NFB-NEWSLINE ® Coordinator maintains the local channel and the sub-channels within and attends numerous events around the state, spreading information about the service. The coordinator conducts presentations and provides NFB-NEWSLINE ®tutorials at community events as well as local meetings of individuals who are blind. The coordinator is registering new applicants, providing individualized training and help to new and existing subscribers and distributing brochures and training materials across the state, as necessary.

 

For More Information

The web address to the National Federation of the Blind is: https://nfb.org//

The web site to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services is: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/blindness_and_visual_services/10367