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Touch and Listen Newsletter

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Winter 2018

Touch and Listen

The Newsletter of the
Bureau of Braille and
Talking Book Library Services
Daytona Beach, Florida

News You Can Use

Blank Cartridges Available

Blank book cartridges are again available for sale from Perkins School for the Blind to individuals. These cartridges fit into the front slot of the NLS-issued digital talking book machines (DTBMs) and facilitate transfer of downloaded audio materials from a computer to the DTBM for playback. Search Amazon with the keywords “NLS cartridge” to find available items for purchase.

You may also request a cord to connect your cartridge to your computer. Call your Reader Advisor and ask for item AC025, DTB Cartridge Cable. Our phone number is 1-800-226-6075.

Income Tax Form Help

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers free assistance to people who are unable to complete their tax return because of a physical disability. You may seek assistance at their Tax Assistance Center (TAC), Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites. To find a TAC near you, visit irs.gov and select the link “Contact Your Local Office”. You can find a nearby VITA or TCE location by calling the IRS at 1-800-906-9887.

The IRS also provides popular federal tax forms and publications for download in braille, large text, and accessible PDFs. Helpful tax topics are discussed in online videos that include captions, audio description, American Sign Language, and text transcripts. Visit irs.gov/accessibility.

Free 2018 Braille Calendars Available

Compact, spiral bound braille calendars are available while supplies last. Please contact your Reader Advisor to request one.

Cartridge Errors

Rarely may you receive a digital cartridge with an error that prevents you from listening to the book, but it sometimes happens. Some error messages will play as soon as you plug the cartridge into the machine. These include “Cartridge Error,” or “No Book Available on Cartridge,” among others.

If you experience an error, please do the following to help us identify the book when returned:

  • For “End of Book” errors with a cartridge that has more than one title on it, please call your Reader Advisor first before sending the book back. They can talk you through accessing the Bookshelf mode to play your cartridge successfully.
  • If there is a different book on the cartridge, a “cartridge error”, “no book on cartridge”, or the book is unplayable for some other reason, please place a rubber band around the cartridge before placing it in the container for return.

App Review: Be My Eyes

(Review reprinted with permission from Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS))

Be My Eyes is a free mobile app designed as an aid for people who are blind or visually impaired. When you download the app onto your Apple or Android device, you are asked if you are blind or sighted. Users who select that they are blind will be able to press a button to connect with the first available sighted volunteer. The volunteer can assist with questions such as, letting the user know the expiration date on a food item container, or the color of their socks.

More sighted volunteers are signed up than users who are blind, making the wait time very short for users who are blind.  Be My Eyes connects users based on the language on their phone, so you will be connected with someone who speaks your language. At the moment, over 90 different languages are supported by the app.

Fresh from the Recording Studio


Storming Heaven (FDB03789) by Kyle Mills. 13 hrs. 25 mins. Narrator: Tom Hart. FBI agent Mark Beamon searches for the heir of a murdered millionaire and his wife and takes on a bizarre conspiracy that could bring America to its knees. Mark Beamon series, Book 2.

Free Fall (FDB03790) by Kyle Mills. 15 hrs. 32 mins. Narrator: Tom Hart. A top-secret FBI file buried in an anonymous government warehouse since J. Edgar Hoover's death is missing. The unlucky grad student who uncovered it is dead, and now his ex-girlfriend is on the run, accused of the murder. The only man everyone agrees can find the young woman and turn up the explosive document is FBI agent Mark Beamon, "off-duty," suspended and under the threat of prosecution by the bureau itself. Mark Beamon series, Book 3.

Ghost of the Chicken Coop Theater (FDB03761) by Linda G. Salisbury. 3 hrs. 35 mins. Narrator: Kathy Taylor. Bailey and her friends convert an old chicken coop at the Keswick Inn into a theater, but the arrival of a self-centered--and mean--former child star thwarts their plans for the Chicken Coop Theater's inaugural play. Bailey Fish Adventure series, Book 5.

Rush Revere and the First Patriots (FDB03830) by Rush Limbaugh. 5 hrs. 20 min. Narrator: Dave Archard. Substitute middle-school history teacher Rush Revere takes his students back in time to eighteenth-century Boston to experience the start of the American Revolution as it happens. The Adventures of Rush Revere series, Book 2. Patron Request.

The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days (FDB03850) by Michele Weber Hurwitz. 6 hrs. 25 mins. Narrator: Margaret Tedrick. Inspired by her late grandmother, thirteen-year-old Nina spends a summer secretly doing good deeds for her neighbors and enjoying the changes she brings about, even as she is dealing with changing friendships and family issues. A 2016-2017 Sunshine State Young Readers Award winner.


Multiple Book Cartridges (MBCs) are now available. Each MBC features multiple titles from popular authors and series. You will need to be able to navigate the cartridge using the Bookshelf feature. To access the bookshelf mode, hold down the square green play/stop button. Wait for a pause, a distinctive beep and the word “Bookshelf,” followed by the number of books or magazines on the cartridge. Wait until the title you want to play is fully announced, wait a second and press the green button again to play.

MBC: Matched trilogy (FDB03858) by Allyson Condie. Matched; Crossed; Reached

MBC: Women's Murder Club 1-5 (FDB03869) by James Patterson. 1st to Die; 2nd Chance; 3rd Degree; 4th of July; The 5th Horseman

MBC: Eve Dallas 1-10 (FDB03879) by J.D. Robb. Naked in Death; Glory in Death; Immortal in Death; Rapture in Death; Ceremony in Death; Vengeance in Death; Holiday in Death; Conspiracy in Death; Loyalty in Death; Witness in Death

MBC: Walt Longmire 6-12 (FDB03862) by Craig Johnson. Junkyard Dogs, Hell is Empty; As the Crow Flies; A Serpent's Tooth; Any Other Name; Dry Bones; An Obvious Fact.


No Time to Die (FBC03288) by Bernyce H. Clausell. Known as Tallahassee's Mother Teresa, Rev. Bernyce H. Clausell takes the reader on a journey through 95 years of her fascinating life. Born in 1916, Clausell details the many paths she has taken and how her calling has kept her busy.

Behind the scenes at the making of the new NLS TV commercial

(Reprinted in part from NLS News October-December 2017)

Saniyah Worrell sits under the hot production lights at the head of the dining room table, idly thumbing through a book, sipping a glass of grape juice, and swinging her feet—which don’t come near to touching the floor. There’s a flurry of activity around her as the film crew finishes mounting a camera on a dolly.
“Rolling! Quiet, everyone!”
“Take one!”
A crew member snaps a digital clapboard in front of the camera.
“Very still around the camera, please. Let me know when you’re ready.”
“Camera set.”
And just like that, Saniyah goes from a bored everyday 10-year-old to a focused professional actor.

“And . . . action.”

The camera moves across the table toward Saniyah, past models of space shuttles, toy rockets, and an astronaut helmet. We see the title of the book she’s reading: Astronaut Abby’s Space Adventures.
Director Lorenzo de Guia calls for her line. Saniyah looks up from her book.

“There’s no place like space,” she says dreamily.
The scene is repeated several more times until de Guia is satisfied. Then the crew begins setting up lights and props for the next scene—the last one in a full day of filming a television commercial for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).

The commercial, called “Magical Moments,” will air in 30- and 60-second formats on cable TV stations nationwide beginning in February. A radio commercial that will air in 30- and 60-second formats also will be created from this shoot. It’s the next—and most ambitious—step in the NLS multimedia informational campaign that began in June with ads on Internet search engines and Facebook.

“The campaign is aimed at potential patrons and their friends, families, caregivers, medical professionals, and related audiences,” NLS director Karen Keninger says. “We’re already seeing results not only in enrollment but in a significant increase in visits to our That All May Read campaign website and to our Facebook page.”

The premise: Saniyah’s character wants to be an astronaut one day. But when she realizes her grandfather can’t read about Astronaut Abby along with her—“I’d love to, but the print is just too small,” he tells her—she and her mother tell him about NLS, the free Library of Congress program that provides braille and talking books to people who have a visual impairment or a physical disability that prevents them from using regular print materials.

Production wrapped around 6:30 p.m. While the crew put the house back in order, Saniyah played in the yard with her twin sister as her real-life mother stood by. De Guia and Wilkinson huddled to talk about their next shoot a few days later in Portland, Oregon.

There was still some light in the late-August sky when everyone piled into two vans for the 15-mile drive back across the Hudson River to Manhattan. One of the homeowners returned from work shortly before they left and got a gift of sorts from the crew: a cell phone they had found while moving a sofa in the living room..

Publication Information

Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services
421 Platt St.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Important Newsletter Update: Touch and Listen is now published bi-annually in large print in the spring and fall. It is published quarterly in audio; Spanish; English; Braille; Word document; and ASCII text version for adaptive technology screen reading programs. Go to http://dbs.myflorida.com/Library/index.html and click “Touch and Listen Newsletter.”

The Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library Services is part of the Division of Blind Services, Florida Department of Education. Visit our website at http://dbs.myflorida.com/ or www.fldoe.org.