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The New York Public Library will be closed September 5 through September 7 in observance of Labor Day.

NewsLion Summer 2015

Summer 2015 NewsLion Audio (mp3)

Celebrate With Us This Summer!

As the whole city gets ready to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ADA, The New York Public Library and the Andrew Heiskell Library have some fabulous announcements and events to share with you, including a reception marking a milestone in our oral history project, a day of celebration of people with disabilities that includes wonderful speakers and an ADA representative for advice, and our new program that gives free home internet access to eligible patrons. We look forward to celebrating with you!

New, Free Wifi Hotspot Lending from the Library Provides Free High -Speed Internet Access at Home.

Need internet at home? The Library is offering a limited number of free wireless modems to talkingbook patrons who do not have Internet access at home. The program enables eligible patrons to “check out” Internet service from the Library for 6 months—absolutely free. You do not need to see the device to use it, and we will train you in its use. This program is intended to help patrons with print disabilities access online resources, such as BARD, at home and to raise their digital exposure and confidence.  To qualify, you must be a talkingbooks member and:

1) Not already have internet at home

2) Have an NYPL library card with no fines on it, or pay off your fines. If you don’t have an NYPL library card we will sign you up for one (even if you live in another borough or Long Island)

3) Have your own computer, laptop, mobile device, tablet, accessible note-taker or book reader (such as the Braille Note, Braille Sense or Victor Reader Stream) that you wish to use the internet on. We do not provide these devices; we only provide the internet for them.


If you are interested and believe you qualify, please register to attend a Patron Lending Event at Andrew Heiskill Braille & Talking Book Library. These Lending Events will explain the program and policies, teach you a simple way to use the HotSpot, and allow eligible patrons to check them out to take home. Devices come with large print and/or braille information and access to audio instructions.


To participate, please register for one lending event by calling (212) 621-0627 or emailing  Lending events are as follows: Wednesday, July 22 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM;

Friday, July 31 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM;

Saturday, Aug 15, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM; or

Friday, August 28 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM


Adult Calendar


ADA Anniversary Event!

People with Disabilities as Creators and Agents of Change: Two Panel Discussions.

Saturday July 25th at the Mid-Manhattan Library

Join the New York Public Library for this exciting event at the Mid-Manhattan Library’s Corner Room on 40th Street and Fifth Avenue. First Panel at 1:00pm: “Actors, Artists, and Inventors: People with Disabilities as Creators” (including Lloyd Burlingame, author of Two Seeing Eye Dogs Take Manhattan DB75550, and others)

Second Panel at 3:00pm “Fighting the Good Fight: Activists, Advocates and Law Changers” (including Susan Dooha Executive Director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York, and others) We will also have representatives from the ADA Center on hand to answer your questions.


“100 Stories and Counting: a Reception in Celebration of our Visible Lives Oral History Project.”

Thursday July 16th, 6:00-8:00pm 

Join us as we celebrate the success so far of our project, “Visible Lives: Oral Histories of the Disability Experience.” Listen to a special address from the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise! Catered refreshments and musical entertainment! Enjoy highlights and meet our interviewers and storytellers! We'll have listening stations and public feedback wall...tell us what you think! ASL interpretation and CART captioning will be provided. Your RSVP is appreciated: contact 212-621-0552 or

For more information about our oral history project please visit

Want to record YOUR story for the project? Contact or 212-621-0552


An Introduction to Unified English Braille

Thursday July 30, 4:00 - 6:30 PM

Please join us for an informative, interactive workshop that will acquaint you with upcoming changes to the English Braille code. The Unified English Braille (UEB) code will replace Grade II Literary Braille as the official Braille code in the United States in January 2016. This workshop will cover the following topics:

·  What is the Braille Authority of North America (BANA), and why is UED the new standard?

·  How is UEB similar to Grade II Literary Braille, and how hard will it be to learn?

·  How does UEB change contractions, short-form words, formatting and punctuation?

·  Has math and computer-related content changed?

·  What will the transition beginning in 2016 involve? How will it affect blind children, adult learners, teachers of visually impaired students, and rehabilitation professionals?

·  How will this affect existing library holdings?

·  How will this affect digital devices, like note-takers and screen readers that work with Braille?

·  How can you learn and study UEB? How can you try it on the digital devices you already own?

We will have slates, styluses, and Braillers on hand; and will provide plenty of hands-on practice with the UEB code. We will also spend some hands-on time showing you how you can enable UEB on your Braille-capable note-taker, iOS device, or screen reader, so feel free to bring along your assistive technology of choice.


Job Seeker Action Group

Fridays June 26th;  July 10th, 24th; August 7th, 21st; September 11th , 25th from 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Andrew Heiskell Library works closely with VISIONS Services for the Blind and visually impaired to provide the best information on services to their visually impaired consumers. Two times every month the library hosts a workshop for visually impaired job seekers to give advice on accomplishing their career goals and have discussions on the process they are going through.


Foundation Fighting Blindness Support Group

Saturdays June 27th, August 1st, August 22nd, September 26, from 10:30AM - 12:30PM

Share experiences and information and gain support from each other.


Book Discussion Group

Join us to talk about thought-provoking books! The group meets on the third Saturday of every other month at 10:30 a.m. If you can’t make it here in person but would like to participate over the phone, please contact us to let us know.  Upcoming discussions:

August 15th:  Behind the beautiful forevers, by Katherine Boo.  DB74457

October 17th The light between oceans: a novel, by M. L. Stedman. DB75192

December 12th The testament, by John Grisham. DB47382


Braille Study Group

This biweekly gathering will include volunteers who can help you with your braille self-study plan and assignments; staff who can recommend high- and low-tech strategies for taking your braille proficiency to the next level; braille games and activities to help you put your skills into practice; and the opportunity to network with other braille learners. This study group is open to blind and sighted learners alike, and is designed to complement your studies at a school, agency, online or on your own. (If you’re not sure where to go to start learning braille, we can advise you about your options). To register, please call (212) 621-0627 or email The group meets on Thursdays as follows:

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM: July 2, July 30, August 13, Sep 10.

4:30 - 6:30 PM: July 16, Aug 27, Sep 24.


Citizen’s Advisory Council Meeting

Saturdays, Sept. 12th and Nov. 14th at 11 am

Show support for the library, hear news first, learn about services and programs, provide feedback, and meet staff at the Citizens Advisory Council meeting. All ideas and opinions welcomed and refreshments served. 


Technology Coaching at the Library

Are you interested in learning to use a computer with screen magnification or screen reading software? Would you like to learn how to use an iPhone or iPad to read books, take notes and manage your calendar? Do you aspire to be more effective at finding information online? The library offers small-group workshops and individualized consultations on a range of technology and information literacy topics. You’ll find a selection of what we offer below, but please call or email to inquire about additional small group trainings that may be organized as patrons request them. Call 212-621-0627 or email to register for all workshops so that we may anticipate the size and particular needs of each group. Classes are always free.


Where to Get Accessible Books and Magazines from the Internet or Telephone:

Would you like to sign up for our Braille Audio and Reading Download service (BARD), the NFB-Newsline newspaper and magazine program, Bookshare’s digital library, the Learning Ally collection of textbooks, or an NYPL library card? We can help! Please call for a 1-on-1 appointment which will give you the opportunity to learn about and sign up for literacy resources.


Computer Support Clinic

By Appointment Only! Every Saturday, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM Volunteer tutors are available to assist new and experienced computer users. You'll be able to get help with email, blogging, downloading audio books, learning accessible computer games, using the web, accessibility software, and more. The tutors read with braille and print, use text-to-speech technology, and speak a variety of languages. Call to reserve a spot!



Assistive Technology Workshop Calendar

Registration is required. To register, please email or call (212) 621-0627.


Voiceover and IOS for Beginners Short Course with guest Ed Plumacher

Tuesdays July 14, 28; Aug 11, 25; Sep 8, 22

4:00 –6:00PM

Please sign up for the entire series, which will orient you to your IOS device, from unboxing to getting online, communicating, and organizing your schedule and notes. When registering please let us know if you’ll be bringing your own device or borrowing one of ours.


On the Move: Apps and Web-based Resources for Independent Travel.

Saturday July 18, 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM.

This workshop will introduce patrons with low or no vision to apps and web tools for public transit information, finding local businesses, discovering accessible cultural events and more. By popular demand, we’re including an overview of Seeing Eye GPS and Blindsquare during this session.


Mobile Photography and Videography with Low or No Vision

Saturday July 18, 1:30 - 3:30 PM

Find out how to take, organize and share photos and videos. We’ll help you understand what makes a “good” picture; provide a rundown of accessible apps for working with photos and videos; and apps that use your smartphone’s camera to describe what it sees.


Apps for Independence Discussion

Saturday July 18, 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM

Network with other mobile explorers and share your favorite apps, tips and tricks.


Introduction to Twitter

Tuesday July 21, 5:00 PM- 6:45 PM

Learn how to use this accessible social network to find community, share your interests, and keep up with the news in your town, your industry and your world.


Introduction to LinkedIn

Saturday August 8, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Learn how to use this professional social network to find jobs, make connections and keep up with the latest developments in your field. We will particularly focus on strategies for assistive technology users, on both mobile and desktop platforms.


Google Apps Accessibility: Docs, Drive, Sheets and Slides

Saturday August 8, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

This demonstration-based workshop will cover the basics of how these apps work and how users of assistive technology can use them effectively. We’ll cover the mobile and desktop application experiences in brief, with an in-depth look at online resources that can help you become a Google Apps power user.


Introduction to Assistive Technology for Spanish Speakers

Thursday August 13, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Are you a Spanish-speaker with a visual impairment? Are you interested in accessible technology for reading, writing, communicating with family and friends, and going online? Would you like to learn about social media, resources for job-seekers, and accessible cultural events? This Spanish language workshop covers available resources with group discussion and demonstration. If you would like to participate remotely via Skype or Hangouts, let us know and we'll make arrangements.


Android Accessibility

Tuesday September 15th, 5:00 - 6:45 PM

We’ll cover the latest developments in Android accessibility, including features for users who are blind, have low vision, or have hearing or motor impairments.


iOS Apps for Readers and Writers

Thursday September 17, 5:00 - 6:45 PM

Discover accessible tools for discovering, reading, reviewing and discussing books; and learn about accessible apps for writing and editing.


Intro to Mac Accessibility

Saturday September 19, 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM

This workshop will cover what’s new in accessibility for the Mac, including Voiceover, Zoom magnification, dictation, and more.


NVDA: a Free Screen Reader for Windows. Saturday September 19th, 2:00 - 4:00 PM  

Learn about a free program that will make any PC talk. We’ll cover installation; set-up; basic commands for reading; getting online; and resources for further study.


Bard Orientations:

Wednesday, Jul 22, 1:00 - 2:30 PM or

Saturday, Aug 15, 3:00 - 4:30 PM 

Learn how to use our website Braille and Audio Reading and Download service for accessing NLS books and magazines. BARD can be accessed on PC and Mac computers or through our BARD Mobile iOS app.


Children’s Calendar:

Summer Reading Challenge

Calling all kids and teens! The Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library invites you to participate in the 2015 Summer Reading Challenge! NYPL is celebrating heroes and cool books, from popular fantasy and graphic novels to the latest in your favorite series. You should have received a registration form in the mail so that you can join the action and have a blast this summer! If not, simply contact the library and ask to sign up for Summer Reading!


Children’s Read Aloud

Wednesdays July 1st, 15th, 22nd, 29th August 5th, 12th September 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th at 3:00 PM

With songs, fingerplays and books, storytime will help your child develop key pre-literacy skills while interacting with other children their age. Ages 0-4


Family Story Time

Fridays, August 7th and September 4th, at 11:15am

Children and their parents or caregivers can enjoy stories, rhymes and songs for all ages.


Songs and Stories for Summer

Wednesday June 10th, 3:00 PM  Join Julie Ann for stories and songs that remind us to find a patch of green and soak up summer.

Music for Aardvarks

Wednesdays June 3rd, 17th, and 24th at 3:00 PM

With influences of rock, blues, folk, jazz and pop, our informal, spirited classes  singing, dancing, musical storytelling, jam sessions and more.  Ages 0-4.


Jonathan Ellers

Wednesday July 8th, 3:00 PM. BeeGee--a little truck-- is impressed by the big machines that work so hard at the construction site.


Puppet Playtime

Wednesday August 19th, 3:00 PM

Join Nicola and her puppets for a fun-filled session of songs, stories and surprises. Suitable for ages 0-4.


Mi Manzana Música/Music

Wednesday August 26th,  3:00 PM

Children are immersed in the richness of the Spanish language as they participate in lively educational songs, rhymes and movements. For ages 0 to 3 with caregiver.


Holiday Closings

The library will be closed for the following holidays:

  • Friday July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th
  • The weekend of September 5th  – 7th  for Labor Day

On days we are closed, you may still leave a telephone message or email us and someone will get back to you as soon as possible after the holidays.