National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled Library of Congress

  • What is it?

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), Library of Congress, administers a free national library program that provides braille and recorded materials to people who cannot see regular print or handle print materials.

The NLS program is funded annually by Congress, and books and materials are mailed as “Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped” through a separate appropriation to the U.S. Postal Service.

  • Who is eligible for service?

NLS provides service to individuals who fall into any of the following categories:

  1. Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.

  2. Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material

  3. Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations.

  4. Persons certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.

  5. Persons eligible for service (falling into any of the above categories) who are now living as residents of the United States (including its territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia), or are American citizens eligible for service who are now living abroad, or dependents of active military personnel or diplomats.

This includes individuals who have had a qualifying disability from birth, individuals who are disabled because of medical conditions or trauma, and individuals who become disabled as they age. Individuals who have a temporary disability may qualify for service on a temporary basis. Individuals who are blind or have a physical disability and who have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States receive special priority.

© 2018 by Community Library of the Shenango Valley