Print Disabled Readers Can Access Free Digital Books:
Since 2006, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) has produced and distributed a digital Talking Book player.
The players are provided free to persons with qualifying print disabilities who are registered with the NLS network library in their region.
Quick View of the NLS Digital Talking Book Machine:
The NLS digital Talking Book player measures approximately 6 by 9 by 2 inches and weighs just over two pounds. The machine's body is dark charcoal grey -- a color chosen to create maximum contrast between it and the colored tactile buttons.The controls for Play, Fast Forward, Rewind, and Sleep are centered along the front edge of the player just above the cartridge slot.
About a third of the way up the machine is a raised line just above which the Info button, DAISY book navigation controls, and bookmark button appear from left to right.
Above the navigation controls on the upper third of the player is a round speaker hole, with Tone and Speed arrow controls to the left and right.
NLS Digital Talking Book Player Controls:
- Play: Large square green button above cartridge slot that starts and stops book playback
- Rewind & Fast Forward: White triangular buttons located to the left and right of the Play button; each provides audible feedback about how far ahead or back you're moving, with speed increasing the longer either button is pressed
- Power: Round red button on the left edge above Rewind that turns player on and off
- Sleep: White crescent-moon-shaped button above the Play button that, when pressed, turns the player off after 30 minutes
- Volume: Yellow arrow-shaped controls located just to the right of the Fast Forward button
- Menu: Atop the Sleep button and just above the raised line is the Menu button with Prev (Previous) and Next buttons to the left and right -- these controls are for navigating through a book by section, chapter, or page
- Tone & Speed: Up and down arrow-shaped controls located near the top of the player to the left and right of the round speaker.
- Mark: Between the Volume and Speed controls is the Mark button that you press to place a bookmark you can navigate back to using the Menu button
- Info: The diamond-shaped Info button located between the Power button and Tone controls provides information about the book you're reading, including current position, elapsed time, and and time remaining.
Members who do not have a digital player can request one from their network library. It will be shipped "Free Matter for the Blind," a classification that can also be used to return machines for repairs. Players are granted to users as permanent loans.