NLS Braille Devices Legislation
Whereas, for the past 82 years, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) has distributed talking book players free of charge allowing blind and physically handicapped patrons who use audio materials to fully enjoy a free library service; and
Whereas, NLS began producing braille books 85 years ago and, in 1999, started providing digital versions of these books to its patrons; and
Whereas, no reading device has been provided to patrons for use with such digital books, meaning that braille readers who wish to use these digital materials have had to provide their own equipment; and
Whereas, for more than 40 years, braille reading devices have been commercially available and exceedingly expensive, but new technological developments have brought about a significant reduction in cost;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 7th day of July, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota, that this organization support any and all efforts to allow the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to provide equipment to patrons for use with each of the formats produced by NLS; and
Be it further resolved that this organization urge the Congress of the United States to promptly enact H.R. 5227, pending legislation to authorize NLS to offer digital braille reading equipment enabling all NLS patrons to have access to free library service in braille.
Ray Campbell, Secretary