Blind World Magazine

California State Library offers Spanish-language Newspapers to Visually Impaired Customers.

December 22, 2005.
California Library Association, USA.

Thanks to the Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL) in the California State Library, visually impaired Spanish speaking Californians can now listen to La Opiníon, the Spanish-language edition of the Los Angeles Times, and Miami's El Nuevo Herald, the sister newspaper of The Miami Herald.

Through BTBL's free daily news service, NFB-NEWSLINE®, Spanish-speaking BTBL customers can now "read" the daily news through a synthetic speech engine at about the same time conventional newsprint editions arrive at newsstands. By dialing a local or toll-free number, visually impaired Californians can listen on the phone to the new Spanish-language papers while the news is still hot. The California State Library helped to support the cost of developing the Spanish NFB-NEWSLINE® service.

Though visually impaired Californians can access books and monthly magazines through an audio recording or a Braille transcription, daily publications are too time-sensitive and of too large a volume to be made accessible by these methods. BTBL's service automatically converts the contents of periodicals to electronic speech, allowing the reader to choose what he or she wants to read, when he or she wants to read it.

State Librarian of California Susan Hildreth says of the new service, "I know that our sight impaired Spanish speaking customers will enjoy this new access to two great national daily papers. Disseminating information to our customers is a key mission of the California State Library and this new feature of NFB-NEWSLINE® gives us an excellent opportunity to do that."

For more information about BTBL's NFB-NEWSLINE® service please contact the BTBL reference desk at 916-654-1357 or email at

End of article.

Any further reproduction or distribution of this article in a format other than a specialized format, may be an infringement of copyright.

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