For Immediate Release Media Contacts:
July 11, 2011
Columbus Sports Council
Columbus to host the 2011 International Blind Golf Championships
The tournament will be hosted at two venues, Green Island Country Club and Maple Ridge Golf Course and will feature the crowning of the 2011 US Blind Golf Champion
COLUMBUS, GA – July 12, 2011 – Organizers of the annual Country’s Midnight Express Events are pleased to announce the inclusion of a new event on this years’ schedule, the 2011 International Blind Golf Tournament.
The 2011 tournament field of fifty (50) blind and visually impaired golfers from eight (8) participating countries will visit Columbus, Georgia to battle it out for worldwide recognition and for a charitable contribution that will go back to the winning country to be used to promote golf to the blind and visually impaired.
The tournament is sanctioned by the International Blind Golf Association (The IBGA is the governing & sanctioning body of blind golf events worldwide) and the United States Blind Golf Association (USBGA).
The three (3) day event will include a Blind-Am tournament and a two (2)-day competitive golf tournament played at two great golf courses – Green Island Country Club and Maple Ridge Golf Course. All of the Midnight Express activities will once again raise awareness and funds for charities and organizations that support the visually impaired.
In true Columbus style, local companies and groups are throwing their support behind this unique event. Leading the charge are Country’s Barbeque, Columbus Sports Council, Columbus Visitors Bureau, Columbus State University’s Golf Team, Green Island Country Club and Maple Ridge Golf Course.
Columbus Sports Council Executive Director Herbert Greene said, “This is a rare opportunity for the city of Columbus to be in the international spotlight as hosts of this prestigious tournament. The Columbus Sports Council is excited to be a co-sponsor and we welcome these talented players from around the world to our hometown.”
"We are thrilled to play a small role in bringing another quality golf tournament to Columbus, Georgia. With players from all over the world, our hope is that you will be amazed and inspired with the quality of play and the competitiveness of the players. I will consider the tournament a success if we are able to bring awareness to the visually impaired in our community and also introduce competitive golf to a visually impaired person from our area that would be able to play in the tournament next year", says Scott Ressmeyer, co-owner Country’s Barbecue.
We hope that you will show your support either through sponsorship, participation in the Blind-Am, volunteering or as a spectator - take advantage of this unique opportunity, come and watch the top ranked IBGA Blind Golfers in the world! Show the world the generous spirit of the people of Columbus, Georgia.
For more information on the tournament and how you can get involved please contact Merri Sherman at the Sports Council (706) 660-1996 OR Scott Ressmeyer at Country’s Barbecue (706) 366-4416.
Friend us on Facebook (facebook.com/internationalblindgolfchampionship) or Follow us on Twitter (@Blindgolf).
2-Day Tournament - August 23rd& 24th
Practice rounds - August 21st & 22nd
Blind–Am - August 22nd
For information about the IBGA visit www.internationalblindgolf.com. Please join us in welcoming these golfers in the spirit of true Southern Hospitality!
Talking Books are a free public library service for the visually, physically, and reading disabled. The Northeast Georgia Talking Book Center is part of the Athens-Clarke County Library and the Georgia Library for Accessible Services. For more information about our service, please visit our website.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Congressional Budget Cuts Affect Major Nonprofits Including Learning Ally
This has been a year of significant change for Learning Ally. In addition to the introduction of our new name, we've made available new player software for both PC and Mac platforms and introduced our App for iPods, iPhones and iPads. We have also been working hard to greatly improve our overall user experience and will be rolling out exciting new enhancements in the coming weeks.
In addition, over the past two years, Learning Ally has been able to provide At-Home membership to individuals at no charge thanks to a grant from the US Department of Education. However, like so many other nonprofit organizations, Learning Ally recently learned that its current appropriation has been discontinued as part of the most recent round of Congressional budget cuts.
Despite this loss in funding, Learning Ally is determined to continue developing innovative products and services and find ways to reach an increasing number of individuals who struggle with reading and learning differences.
First, Learning Ally will increase our efforts to raise more money through philanthropy. Many individual donors, corporations and private funders have recognized the value in Learning Ally services and appreciate the positive ways their contributions help Learning Ally remove barriers to learning for thousands of individuals each year.
Additionally, Learning Ally will now charge a fee for At-Home memberships so individuals can continue to benefit from the nation's largest library of accessible core education and required literature content.
Effective August 31, all current individual memberships will expire. Effective September 1, a Learning Ally Individual membership will be $99 per year. However, prior to August 31, we are offering the opportunity to register or renew a one year Individual membership for $79. We hope you will take advantage of this limited time $79 membership offer.
Learning Ally remains committed to providing the best possible products and solutions for its members. We are currently improving the overall member experience, including the way individuals access content via the Learning Ally website. By mid-August, Learning Ally members will enjoy a streamlined user experience in registration, browsing, ordering and playback of Learning Ally books on their favorite devices. We are also testing a variety of community tools to better support the needs of parents and learners. In the near future, Learning Ally will begin development of teacher-based tools -- all of which support Learning Ally's careful and deliberate transitioning to a truly MEMBER-CENTRIC organization. Learning
Ally promises to continue to work closely with you, the member community, to learn how it can best develop new and innovative products and services.
To provide financial support to those who need Learning Ally services and to continue funding important efforts to reach more learners please visit our donation page.
Friday, July 22, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2011
IMLS Press Contacts
Natasha Marstiller, email@example.com
Mamie Bittner, firstname.lastname@example.org
July 2011 Project Profile: State Talking Book Libraries: Programs for People with Visual or Physical Disabilities
Talking books are wonderful and make my life so much better.
--Patron, Spokane Valley, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL)
It is such a blessing to have talking books. Multiple sclerosis has taken a great deal of my vision.
--Patron, Kentucky Talking Book Library (KTBL)
IMLS provides funding to state libraries through its Grants to State Library Administrative Agencies, the largest of all of its grant programs. In 2009, 10% of this funding directly supported libraries for the blind and physically disabled. State libraries around the country provide critical services to visually and physically impaired Americans including braille materials and specially recorded audiobooks also known as "talking books". Materials are mailed to patrons at no cost and provide an important lifeline to the world for many housebound or elderly patrons.
For two of these libraries—the Kentucky Talking Book Library (KTBL) and the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL)—success has continued, despite recent budget cutbacks, thanks to dedication from volunteers, strong connections with community groups and patrons, and the enthusiastic adoption of new technology.
“I think a lot of people believe, ‘There are lots of audiobooks and ebooks out there, [those who are visually and physically impaired] don't need anything special.’ But I don't think people realize the very small percentage of materials that are available in alternate formats," said Barbara Penegor, Kentucky Talking Book Library Branch Manager. “If you go into your local public library, sure they have audiobooks on CD ... but they don't have the number of books available through our service, or they don't have the breadth of service. Most of them will have the bestsellers or popular things, but we're able to provide them with stuff like cookbooks and books on disability and biographies of lesser–known historical figures.”
New Technology Increases Access and Enhances User Experiences
The integration of new technology has revolutionized how talking book libraries function. Since the 1970's, talking book libraries had relied on analog cassette players to play recorded books. Recently, however, the libraries have begun transitioning to new digital players—a move that has been met with great enthusiasm from patrons. With an entire book on a single digital cartridge, digital players eliminate the frustration of changing and flipping tapes, a major improvement for patrons with physical disabilities or lack of strength. “If you have limited dexterity, the cassette buttons took a bit of pressure to push, whereas the digital machine buttons are soft touch, so it doesn't take any strength at all to push them,” explains Penegor.
In Washington, word of mouth about the new technology helped spur renewed interest in the library says Danielle Miller, Program Manager for WTBBL. “People were getting [digital players] who hadn't used the library in forever. People were signing up who had never used the library. Books were going out pretty much as soon as they came in the door and people were willing to read things that they never would have read before because they wanted to use the digital player.”
Volunteer Support Ensures Program Success
Although both libraries have a talented and devoted staff, they credit much of their success to the ongoing commitment of their volunteers. “It's really the volunteers that make everything we do possible,” explains Miller. At the WTBBL, volunteers contribute more than 32,000 hours of their time every year—the equivalent of 16 full time employees. They are the driving force behind the WTBBL's Evergreen Radio Station, a special service of the library that provides 24 hour programming for patrons.
Volunteers read local and national newspaper articles, host talk shows about local events, and conduct interviews with popular authors. The programming is more than just entertainment, however. It also provides practical information that would otherwise be difficult for the visually impaired to access. “One of our most popular programs is called “Grocery Cart”, explains Miller. “All the supermarket circulars come out on Tuesdays and the volunteer narrators go through and read what's for sale and where it's for sale. It's a nice way for a lot of our people who maybe get out only once a week or are on a fixed income. They can see, ‘Oh cantaloupe is on sale at Safeway. Let's go there.’”
KTBL relies heavily on volunteer support as well, particularly for the narration and recording of their special collection of books about Kentucky or by Kentucky authors. KTBL has had a wonderful record of volunteer loyalty—many of their volunteers have been with the library for 20 years or more. Penegor works hard to give back to the volunteers, arranging trips to see how braille books are printed and inviting special speakers to the yearly volunteer appreciation dinner. “This year we're hoping to have some professional narrators—people who are paid to record the talking books from the Library of Congress—come in and talk to them so they can meet a superstar!”
Using Communications, Outreach, and Partners to Respond to Fiscal Challenges
Both libraries work hard to get the word out about the services they offer. Penegor hosts in training sessions for new Kentucky public library directors to make sure they're aware of KTBL's services. Recently, she enlisted the help of two of her patrons—an 88 year old woman who uses talking books and a young reader of braille—to star in an introductory YouTube video for new patrons. WTBBL works closely with care facilities, retirement centers and the blinded veteran's center, connecting with activity directors and giving presentations about the library. Close relationships with patrons, other local libraries, and institutions for the visually and physically impaired have helped KTBL and WTBBL deal with ongoing budget cuts.
In the past few years, KTBL has taken over library services for regional talking book libraries which were forced to close their doors. Good communication between the branches allowed for a smooth transition and minimal disruption to patrons. “Even though the Louisville library closed three years ago I'm still in occasional contact with the former librarian,” says Penegor. In Washington, other public libraries and patrons have stepped in to help replace services the WTBBL can no longer afford. “Some of our large print readers know that we can't afford to buy these books any more so they often donate books that they have read or money specifically for that purchase,” says Miller. “We've been working with public libraries in the area and getting donations. Recently, a public library system donated 14 boxes of large print books in great condition.”
Improving Quality of Life for Patrons
Talking book libraries have loyal patrons and that should come as no surprise. Much of the patron base is elderly or retired --the average patron at KTBL is a widowed woman in her eighties. As Penegor explains, “Listening to a talking book is like staying in touch with the world—not only learning things—but it's another human voice in an empty house.” “At the state library we provide a lot of great services,” adds Kentucky State Librarian Wayne Onkst, “but I can't imagine one that has more impact than this one.”
IMLS remains committed to making accessibility and inclusion top priorities for the agency and the libraries and museums it serves. Learn more at http://www.imls.gov/about/accessibility.shtm.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit http://www.imls.gov.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
To learn more, please visit the Athens Banner-Herald article: www.onlineathens.com/stories/071811/liv_858588802.shtml.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Beginning Friday, July 15, 2011, a new page on the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website will feature specially acquired foreign-language materials. Readers may access this page through a link on the main BARD page labeled Digital Foreign-Language Collection.
The first work available on the page is the five-volume historical survey Los Ciegos en la Historia (The Blind in History) by Jesús Montoro Martínez, published and made available to NLS by the National Organization of Spanish Blind People—better known by its acronym, ONCE. Spanning more than two hundred hours of reading time, this Spanish-language work explores the lives of blind individuals and the social perceptions of blindness and visual impairment in cultures across the globe, including those of Egypt, China, Japan, Europe, Africa, and the Americas, from prehistory through the 1990s. Truly international and multicultural in scope, Los Ciegos en la Historia is an appropriate premier work for the BARD digital foreign-language page.
In the coming months, other downloadable foreign-language books will be made available via this link, including Russian, German, French, and Lithuanian titles.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Hello List Members,
Those of you who have started using Internet Explorer 9 have probably noticed that
downloading doesn't work the same way as it does with earlier versions of IE. The
process can make you think nothing is happening, which can be confusing and frustrating.
Fortunately, however, it's easy to download with IE9 once you understand the changes.
When you download a book with Internet Explorer 9, the prompt to download or save
appears in a toolbar called the Information bar. You can respond to this prompt in
one of two ways. One is to press Alt-N, which brings focus to the Information bar
where you can choose whether to open or save the file. The other is to press Alt-S, which bypasses the Information bar and chooses to save the file.
Once you press Alt-N and choose to save, or press Alt-S, the file begins to download.
To see the progress of the download, press Control-J to open the View Downloads dialog box. Within this dialog box is an Options button that takes you to a dialog where you can choose whether to be notified when downloads are complete.
If you realize that you made a mistake and you don't want to download this book,
press Alt-N to go back to the Information bard. Focus will move to the Cancel button,
so press Enter to cancel the download.
By default, Internet Explorer 9 saves to a folder called Downloads in your User folder. If you want to change this location, do the following:
1. Press Enter on the link to download a book.
2. Press Alt-N to bring focus to the Information bar.
3. Press Tab to the Save split button.
4. Press Down Arrow until you reach Save As.
5. Press Enter.
You are now in a standard Save As dialog box where you can change the file name and
download location if you like.
We hope this information will help you download the books you want using Internet
Explorer 9. Happy reading.
The BARD Technical Support Team
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
For details about how to nominate someone, please see the Athens Banner-Herald article: www.onlineathens.com/stories/070611/new_852984548.shtml.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Blind or visually impaired tour guides will lead you through a series of galleries that recreate familiar situations, but allow you to experience them in a very new way.
Dining in the Dark has also been extended through July. You will have a four-course, top-chef meal served completely in the dark. Your servers are all blind or visually impaired. Learn to experience food totally differently!
Visit www.dialogtickets.com for more information about the experience and to purchase tickets.
Friday, July 1, 2011
- ► 2012 (141)
- 2011 International Blind Golf Championships
- News From Learning Ally (Formerly RFB&D)
- Talking Books Program Profiled by IMLS
- ACCA Offers Advocacy Training
- BARD Expanded to Include Foreign Language Titles
- Patient Voices
- Talking Books on YouTube
- BARD and IE9
- Fred A. Birchmore Award for Active Aging
- Dialog in the Dark
- TBC Now Serving Newton County
- ▼ July (11)
- ► 2010 (156)
- ► 2009 (116)