Newsletter of the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

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Bright Future

Newsletter of the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

A publication of the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Visual Services Division, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
Vol. 29, No. 4 Fall 2014

300 N.E. 18th St.

Oklahoma City, OK 73105


Toll Free 1-800-523-0288

Fax 405-521-4582

TTY/TDD 405-521-4672


Bright Future is available in braille, digital cartridge and on our website.

Cassette Books and Cassette Players

January 1, 2015 marks the end of cassette book service. After that date only digital books will be mailed to you. If you have a yellow player and cassette books in green plastic boxes, like those in the above picture, please return them to the Oklahoma Library for the Blind starting January 1, 2015.

The end of cassette service will not affect patrons’ digital talking book service. Digital talking books will continue to circulate as before. If you have any questions, please call us and ask to speak with a librarian.

--Erin Byrne, Librarian

Oklahoma Telephone Reader
The Oklahoma Telephone Reader (OTR) is an on-demand dial-up information service. It is intended for use by anyone with a disability that prevents them from reading standard print materials, and you must be a library patron in order to register for OTR. OTR takes the place of and is similar to its predecessor, the Older Blind Telephone Information Line.

Volunteers record articles from “The Oklahoman”, “Tulsa World,” the “Oklahoma Gazette,” and other publications on a daily basis. Such articles include news, editorials, sports, grocery ads, obituaries, as well as a variety of other types of articles. Listeners can access these using the key pads on their telephones and navigate directly to the publication of their choice. You can even use your telephone key pads to speed up or slow down the readings and to change the volume!

We invite all patrons to try the demo by calling 1-855-887-6397 or 405-522-1896. Once the system answers, enter 5555, then enter 1 (for Group 1 publications), then follow the prompts to get to a desired article. For more information or to volunteer, please call the library and ask for Becky Bates or Steve Dowdy.

--Becky Bates, OTR Administrator

Cassette Book Service Has Ended, What Do I Do Now?

  1. Whether you receive digital books in the mail or download them, continue to enjoy them as before! All of you receive this service, and that will continue to be the case.

  2. Mail back to us your old yellow cassette player, if you have one. These players are property of the U.S. Government, and we need to account for them. Don’t know if you have one? Call us! We can find out if one is checked out to you.

--Andrew Shockley, Librarian

New Web Address
On January 5th, 2015 the library is launching its brand new website. The new web address will be, so update your bookmarks! The old website will have a link to the new one, in case you forget. Remember, is your next destination!
--Erin Byrne, Librarian
BARD Mobile App for iPhone and iPad!
Are you interested in the BARD mobile app for iPhone and iPad? The app is available for free download from the iTunes store and it’s very easy to use! This app enables library patrons with a BARD account to download audiobooks, Braille books, and magazines directly to their iPhone and iPad. Of course, in order to use the app you must first sign up for BARD. If you have any questions regarding the app or are interested in signing up for BARD, call us at 1-800-523-0288 or 405-521-3514 and ask for a librarian.

--Erin Byrne and Andrew Shockley, Librarians

Digital Talking Books and Digital Players

All of you have a digital player and are receiving digital talking books in blue and gray plastic boxes, as pictured above. This wonderful service will continue, as always. Are you not getting the books you would like? Would you like more or fewer books? If you have any questions about your service or would like to tweak it in any way, do not hesitate to call us at the library and ask for a librarian. We would be happy to help you!

--Andrew Shockley, Librarian
How Long May I Check Out Books?
Books are checked out for a two month period, with a one month extension, if you need more time. Please remember to return these books as soon as you finish listening to them. Other patrons of the library would like to read them, too, and are likely waiting on them. Thank you!
--Andrew Shockley, Librarian
Mismatched Digital Books and Containers
We are noticing a great increase in the number of books coming back from patrons who have mismatched the book with its proper container before sending it back. Please ensure that the number on the book matches the number on the box before returning it. This will help us get books processed and on their way to you faster, and will reduce the number of “mistake” books you receive. We appreciate your careful attention to this matter.
--Marka Will, Librarian
Summer Reading Book Report
This summer, 14 year old Ariana Richardson participated in the library’s Summer Reading Program. Here she shares her favorite book: Troublemaker by Andrew Clements, DB 74360:
I thought Troublemaker was one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s about a sixth grader named Clayton Hensley. It starts out with him at school, drawing a picture in his art class. A picture that was very disrespectful.

Clayton had a drawn a picture of a donkey, but had made it look like his principal, Mr. Kelling. His teacher wasn’t surprised though. After Clayton showed it to the class, and got a lot of laughs from it, the teacher put the picture in an envelope, and sent Clayton to the office.

He was a normal visitor to the office so the secretary Mrs. Ormand was used to seeing him every month. When the principal tried to explain to him what he did was wrong, he kept on jumping off the subject and interrupting Mr. Kelling with rude comments.

On Halloween night there was a knock at Clay’s front door. It was the police. They said someone had egged Mr. Kelling’s house and painted a picture of a donkey on his front door. They figured Clay had done it. His mom was upset, but Clay told them he was in the room the whole evening and never went out.

The next day, Clay rode his bike past Mr. Kelling’s house. There was Mr. Kelling trying to get the paint off the front of his door. He didn’t turn around, but he knew Clayton was there. Clay apologized and told him that he wasn’t the one who did it. Mr. Kelling did believe him, but it took a lot for him to, but he was very proud of Clay for having the courage to come talk to him and tell the truth. On the last day of sixth grade, Clay vowed to himself that he would behave and do good in school.

I enjoyed this story even though I didn’t like Clayton at the beginning. But after he changed and became a good student and good kid, I liked him more than I did at first. I’m glad he didn’t stay a troublemaker and finally figured out the right way to go. I thought it was a good story and very inspirational for anybody who’s in the same condition as Clay.

Do You Want Books on the Weekend?
The library is closed on Saturday and Sunday, but do you know the best way to ensure you have enough reading material for the weekend? It’s simple: call the library no later than Thursday! If you call on Friday, it is too late to add your book requests to that day’s batch of mail to be picked up by the Post Office. So give us a call by Thursday and ask for a librarian. We will be happy to help.

--Andrew Shockley, Librarian

2014 Best Sellers

Looking for a great book to curl up with this winter? Try these outstanding titles from the best seller lists.

Gray Mountain (DB 79768) by John Grisham

A downsized Wall Street lawyer joins a legal clinic in a small coal mining Virginia town. She soon finds herself in the middle of litigation that turns deadly. Suspense

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the U.S.S. Jeanette (DB 79535) by Hampton Sides

The Jeanette was sent to the Arctic Circle in 1879. After becoming trapped in pack ice and sinking, the crew begins a harrowing journey across the Arctic. Adventure

All the Light We Cannot See (DB 79182) by Anthony Doerr

A blind French girl’s path collides with a German boy in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of WWII. A National Book Award Finalist. Historical Fiction

Blue Labyrinth (DB 79892) by Douglas Preston

A long-buried family secret has come back to haunt Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast. It begins with murder. Mystery

The Dog Who Rescues Cats: The True Story of Ginny (DB 42935) by Philip Gonzalez

After a disabling accident, the author loses his sense of purpose in life. Then he rescues Ginny, an abused pup from the shelter, who has an amazing sixth sense for finding and rescuing stray and ailing cats. Together they have rescued over 200 cats and changed many lives. Animal Stories

The Martian (DB 78389) by Andy Weir

Days after becoming the first man to walk on Mars, an astronaut gets caught in a windstorm and is believed to be dead. After he survives, he faces abandonment, failed machinery and a hostile environment. Science_Fiction___Some_Luck__(DB_79659)_by_Jane_Smiley'>Science Fiction

Some Luck (DB 79659) by Jane Smiley

Rosanna and Walter Langdon have a farm in Denby, Iowa. They abide by their time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different children. This is the first book in an epic trilogy that spans a century of American life and all the changes that impact this remarkable family. A National Book Award Finalist. Historical Fiction, Family Chronicles

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban (DB 77454) by Malala Yousafzai

This is a memoir of a Pakistani teenager who survived an assassination attempt in 2012 by the Taliban because of her family’s crusade for girls’ education. Malala was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Biography

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (DB 78463) by Elizabeth Kolbert

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, unfolding before our eyes. Science

Everybody’s Got Something (DB 78864) by Robin Roberts

The beloved Good Morning America anchor’s new memoir in which she recounts the incredible journey that’s been her life so far, and the lessons she has learned along the way. The biggest lesson? You are stronger, much stronger than you think. Inspirational

--Sammie Willis, Librarian

For Your Information

Free Large Print 2015 Calendars

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services offers free large print calendars. For more information, call (405) 522-3333.

2015 Braille Pocket Calendars

The American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults offers free pocket braille calendars. Write to the American Action Fund, 18440 Oxnard Street, Tarzana, California 91356 or email

Deaf Blind Conference

The Deaf-Blind Conference, organized by Sight Hearing Encouragement Program (SHEP), was held October 9-12 at Lake Murray. We had approximately 32 consumers who are deaf-blind and 65 volunteer support service providers in attendance. It was my pleasure to be able to say a few words to the attendees on Friday night.

As the lead division for Deaf-Blind services, we in Visual Services need to empower individuals to be able to participate in social activities, which enable folks to enhance their social skills, confidence, and communication. When these individuals have an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone to participate and communicate, it raises self-confidence and improves overall quality of life while increasing the possibility of employment.

In keeping with the “balance” concept, SHEP brought in three speakers, all of whom were Deaf-Blind, presenting on technology, pro-tactile, and personal experiences relating to Deaf-Blind. There was also a hands-on tour at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, crafts, games, and a costume dance. The theme was Native American, to represent Oklahoma, and the motto was “Embrace Your Dreams: It’s Your future!” Training can come in a number of forms and this conference provided a natural, fun learning opportunity.

Please be sure to tap into the knowledge and commitment both Jeri Cooper and Joan Blake possess about Deaf-Blind issues and possibilities, as well as the great work our new Deaf-Blind counselor, Christa Woods, is doing. Thank you!

--Doug Boone, Visual Services Administrator

NewView Oklahoma Offers an Endless Variety of Services and Programs

Do you enjoy learning about adaptive technology, having fun, socializing with others, finding that perfect job? Call NewView Oklahoma to learn about opportunities, including but not limited to: support groups for people who are blind or visually impaired (one group specifically honoring blind veterans), art classes, technology training, employment opportunities, an annual camp for children who are blind or visually impaired, team sports, a state-of-the-art low vision clinic in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and much more. Contact NewView Oklahoma at (405) 232-4644 or visit their website at to inquire about these and many more programs and services.

Florida Hospital Uses Talking Menus to Aid Visually Impaired

South Miami Hospital is conducting a pilot program that provides patients with a hand-held wireless device, developed by Florida technology company Taylannas (, which enables them to order meals in English, Spanish, or French. The unit speaks to patients and displays text in their chosen language and is designed to serve visually impaired, elderly, and non-English-speaking patients.

For hospitals, the use of a talking menu reduces printing expenses and staff costs. The pioneering technology developed with the advice of dietary management at South Miami Hospital also allows for nearly instant changes in menu content and can provide dieticians with greater control over each patient’s nutrition.

Democracy Now comes to ACBRadio World News and Information

“Democracy Now” is now being aired on the American Council of the Blind’s ACBRadio World News and Information. This show is aired on many independent radio stations around the world and is quite popular with the community at large. Democracy Now will air on World News and Information at 5 am, 11 am, 5 pm, and 11 pm Eastern Time. To view the schedule, visit You can also call (231) 460-1047 and select option 5 to listen by phone.

--Compiled by Vicky Golightly, Public Information Officer
The Back 40

The Visual Services Division (VS) of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services exists to help Oklahomans who are disabled by way of blindness, or otherwise visually impaired, to be more independent and to enjoy their best life. The many resources of VS include, of course, the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped as well as many VS counselors, teachers, technicians, accessibility aids, technology, and many others.

The point of this article is to encourage you to maximize your access to resources that can help you fill your life with all that life has to offer. We can help you start or continue reading good books and magazines through the library, keep up with news through our Oklahoma Telephone Reader, acquire blind living skills through several excellent training centers, gain employment through a combination of services, and so much more.

A relatively new feature we have is our own audio VS information, available as a digital book cartridge, CD, or digital file. This makes all of the basic newcomer information available to our clients and prospects in a form everyone can use.

The bottom line is we think in terms of what is possible and do our best to help you discover what is possible for you. It may surprise you!

--Jim Kettler, Visual Services

Tax Deductible Donations
Every gift to Oklahomans for Special Library Services (OSLS) benefits thousands. Contributions enable OSLS to provide activities not funded by the annual Library budget. Make checks payable to OSLS and mail to Oklahomans for Special Library Services, P.O. Box 53593, Oklahoma City, OK 73152.

Donations are accepted in memory of a loved one, family member or to honor an individual. When a gift is made, it should include the name of the person being honored and the name and address of the family or family member to be notified of the gift. Please consider naming OSLS as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or in other estate planning bequests. With the assistance of an estate-planning attorney, significant tax benefits may be possible from this gift.

Oklahoma Library for the Blind

and Physically Handicapped

300 N.E. 18th St.

Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Bright Future is the official publication of the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. It was printed by Heritage Solutions in El Reno, OK. It is published four times a year. Kevin Treese is the Library Director, Andrew Shockley is the Editor, and Jim Kettler is the Assistant Editor. In providing information to readers of Bright Future, the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services does not endorse any product or service referred to by this newsletter. This publication is authorized by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services in accordance with state and federal regulations, with copies deposited with the Oklahoma Department of Libraries Publications Clearinghouse. Cost of printing and distribution was $2,681.42 for 6,000 copies. DRS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services. For additional copies, contact the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 405-521-3514.

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