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State offering grants for visually impaired readers

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talking book player unit and book cartridge

If you or a loved one are in need of assistance to see better -- using magnification or other devices -- the Indiana State Library is offering help.

The Indiana State Library Foundation, in collaboration with the Indiana State Library’s Talking Books & Braille Library, is seeking applicants for a new grant supporting patrons with the purchase of assistive technology devices.

To qualify, you must be enrolled in the state's Talking Books & Braille Library program and meet other requirements as stated on the application.

The grants will provide monetary reimbursements ranging from $50 to $1,000 towards the purchase of an assistive technology device of the recipient’s choosing.

These devices remove many barriers to education and employment for visually impaired individuals and may include: video magnifiers, optical character recognition systems, speech systems, etc.

Indiana State Library Foundation Chairman Robert Barcus stated, “The foundation is pleased to support visually impaired patrons in the purchase of much needed assistive technology devices. These devices not only make it possible for the visually impaired to experience the joy of books, they also provide access to a world of technology that can lead the way to independent living.”

“For years the Talking Books & Braille Library has served visually and physically impaired Hoosiers. The technologies grant program will further the State Library’s mission of serving all Indiana residents, leading and supporting the library community, and preserving Indiana history,” said State Librarian Jacob Speer. 

To apply for an Indiana State Library Foundation grant, please visit http://www.in.gov/library/5442.htm.

For more information on assistive technology devices, please visit the American Foundation of the Blind’s website at http://www.afb.org/info/living-with-vision-loss/using-technology/assistive-technology/123.

For more information on the Indiana Library Foundation, please visit http://www.in.gov/library/foundation.htm.

Talking Books is a free service provided by the Indiana State Library's Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. This service is provided to individuals unable to utilize regular print because of either a visual or physical handicap.

Talking Books are books and periodicals recorded on specialized USB flash drive cartridges and on cassette tapes. These books and periodicals, as well as the equipment used to play them, are available for lending.

The application for this program can be found online at the Indiana State Library's Talking Books webpage.