NFB-NEWSLINE® Offers Valuable Service
by John Glisson
,BVA Technology Association for Veterans with Visual Impairment
NFB-NEWSLINE® is the world’s largest audio information service for the blind and is free and easy to use through touch-tone telephone, iPhone application, the Internet, and portable devices for on-the-go access. It is a service that we, as blinded veterans, can store in our audio information tool chests and remove for use when we desire greater independence!
NFB-NEWSLINE® helps severely and newly visually impaired veterans remain informed about the top news items of the day. The service is appropriate during various adjustment periods as a veteran becomes comfortable with more advanced access technology such as computers, electronic mail, iPhones, Victor Readers, etc. NFB-NEWSLINE® fits into the notion that multiple tools are sometimes needed to accomplish one task, contingent upon the environment or circumstance.
With more than 400 local and national newspapers and magazines available, a wide array of interests and needs can be met. Emergency Weather Alerts provide valuable information for safety and, through GPS tracking, the emergency information is automatically available to us using the iOS NFB-NEWSLINE® Mobile App as zip codes change.
Television listings save time and spare us the frustration of having to seek sighted assistance for basic life matters. Retail store ads prepare and equip shoppers with a preview of products. For the younger blinded veterans, the job search feature allows them to freely search for new careers in both civilian and government sectors. College students can conduct global searches in doing research projects and discover accessible required reading materials.
Navigating the service is easy and powerful! Spell words, move line by line, negotiate articles title by title, or read continually if desired. Upon pressing #9 on the telephone keypad, an article or full publication can be immediately emailed to the veteran’s inbox for further use.
BVA regional groups can post local information using the local channel. Conference agendas provide easy independent access instead of seeking out or relying on sighted assistance. Blind rehabilitation professionals have the freedom to use the service as a training tool to aid veterans in rediscovering personal interests. Through NFB-NEWSLINE® veterans can use their VA-issued equipment to maximum effectiveness.
Veterans may subscribe to the service and try it out for ten days. If it is not enjoyed or not useful, you can simply quit using it. NFB-NEWSLINE® is totally free of charge to all eligible individuals. There are no membership requirements.
John Glisson is a member of the Kentuckiana Regional Group.