Braille and Audio Materials Help Blind Fan Follow Her Teams
Miriam Stone of Forest Hills, N.Y., has an unfailing love of sports that covers practically every team from the Big Apple—the Islanders, Liberty, Jets, Mets and Nets.
The 60-year-old stays connected to her teams with the audiobooks and braille materials provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), part of the Library of Congress.
Stone was born blind and began reading braille books from the NLS collection as a young child. Shortly after, she discovered her love of sports and became a diehard, never-misses-a-game kind of fan.
“I get ‘Sports Illustrated,’ I get ‘ESPN: The Magazine’ and I get all of the sports schedules from NLS every year. I get everything,” Stone says. “Everything—going on almost 40 years. I started in the ’70s, and I’m still doing it.”
Stone gets schedules for all her favorite teams in braille and also enjoys science fiction and poetry titles through the NLS talking-book program. When, in 2009, digital audiobooks and players replaced the cassettes that had been the backbone of the program for four decades, Stone embraced the change.
“It changed very drastically when they got digital. Digital is very good because you can read whole books without turning over a tape,” Stone explains. “And the digital player is small—you can take it with you. I love gadgets!”
The NLS collection includes scores of sports-related books, from “The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron” by Howard Bryant and “Namath: A Biography” by Mark Kriegel to “Shooting Stars” by LeBron James and Buzz Bissinger and “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN” by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales.
NLS offers digital books, players and braille materials free of charge through a network of cooperating libraries in each state. Eligible readers with computers and Internet service also have immediate access to thousands of titles online through the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service. Any U.S. resident or citizen living abroad who is blind, has low vision or cannot hold or turn the pages of a book because of illness or disability is eligible.
Find out more about NLS at www.loc.gov/nls or call 1-888- NLS-READ.