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NewsLion: Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library Newsletter

Winter 2018

NewsLion Winter 2018 Audio (MP3)


Create Tactile Graphics and Objects at the Library!

If you or someone you know needs maps, diagrams, images or 3D objects that can be explored by touch, we want you to know that you can make them for free at the library. Our software and hardware is accessible to blind and sighted people, and we hope that people from all walks of life, including non-visual learners, O&M instructors, teachers, artists and anyone else who wants to make spatial information more accessible, will give our equipment a try. Together we can make access happen! See the technology calendar below and sign up for workshops that will show you how, or contact the tech team to learn more at 212-621-0627


We now have an “Access-A-Ride Designated Bus Stop” Sign!

A sign has been placed in front of the library!  New York City Transit and Andrew Heiskell Library hope that this sign helps make getting here and back easier.


Save the Date: City Services Day!

Thursday, April 12, 12:00 Noon – 3:00 PM:

The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library invite you to our third City Services Day. Learn about the work that New York City is doing to serve the blind and low vision community - work that includes digital accessibility, housing and rental assistance programs, accessible way finding and adaptive sports.

This free 3-hour event will feature presentations from city agencies including The Human Resources Administration, Housing Preservation and Development, Parks and Recreation, Emergency Management, and more. Please note that we are also inviting Access-A-Ride, the NYC Commission on Human Rights, and the Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York.

No registration needed.


New Recording Studio Manager!

James Langton is an award winning audiobook narrator who has recorded more than 65 titles and run his own studio. He is also a trained actor and a Jazz musician and band leader who has coordinated performances with big NYC institutions. He began as our new studio manager on Monday, October 30th.  


Accessible Expressive Origami

January 23rd, February 27th, March 27th, April 24th, May 22nd, June 26th, July 24th, and August 28th,  5:00 PM – 6:00 PM.  

These workshops held on the fourth Tuesday of the month will help you experience origami by words and by the physicality of a piece of paper transforming into a variety of shapes.  This program is accessible to community members who are blind or visually impaired but is open to all who are interested in origami.  To register, please call Lyman Clayborn at 212-621-0637.


Book Discussion Group

Please join Andrew Heiskell’s Book Discussion Group, which meets from 10:30 AM to 11:30am on a Saturday every other month starting in February.  Our book discussion meetings are always lively, entertaining, and “a must” for book lovers! If you can’t make it to the meetings, ask about participating by phone or Skype. Call for new titles and 2018 dates!


Creative Writing Workshop

Saturdays, 2:00 PM to 4 PM

Our workshops in partnership with the New York Writers Coalition (NYWC) are ongoing. Registration is required. For a list of the upcoming class dates and to register please call 212-621-0624 and leave your name and telephone number. If there is no answer, simply email to register.


Community Advisory Council

Saturday January 6th, 11:00 AM

Saturday March 24th, 11:00 AM

Run by you, our patrons, this group meets quarterly to discuss issues, make suggestions on the library’s direction, hear news first, and meet staff.  All ideas and opinions are welcome and refreshments will be served.


Braille Study Group

Saturdays, 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Wednesdays, 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM

Join staff, peers and volunteers who can help you with your braille study plan and assignments and recommend strategies for taking your braille proficiency to the next level. Braille games and activities will help you put your skills into practice.  This study group welcomes blind and sighted learners alike. If you’re not sure how to begin learning braille, we can help you get started. To register, please call 212-621-0627 or email


Non-Affiliated Group Meetings

Foundation Fighting Blindness

Saturdays January 27, February 17, and March 17, 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Meet the group for support, information sharing, and action planning.


Guide Dog Users of New York

Saturday, February 3, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

If you are a guide dog user, attend this support group for networking and information.


American Council of the Blind

Saturdays January 6th, February 3rd, and March 3rd. 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

The American Council of the Blind strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, for all blind and visually-impaired people.



Individual Technology Coaching

Want to explore accessible online books and magazines, or use your regular telephone to hear newspapers and magazines read out loud?

Would you like to sign up for our Braille and Audio 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? Want help with email, blogging, downloading audio books, learning accessible computer games, using the web, using accessibility software, and more? We can help! Volunteer tech coaches are available to assist new and experienced computer users. The coaches read with braille and print, use text-to-speech technology, and speak a variety of languages. To make a coaching appointment, call 212-621-0627 or email



We offer group workshops on a range of technology and information literacy topics. Call 212-621-0627 or email to register for any of these workshops so that we may anticipate the size and needs of each group. Workshops are always free, and you may arrange to join remotely if you can’t to attend in person. In addition, we are happy to arrange customized workshops to fit your needs.


Braille for the 21st Century

Thursday January 4, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Join us for Louis Braille’s birthday and celebrate the empowering combination of Braille and modern technology. Check out a range of Braille displays, hear from expert digital Braille users, and learn how you can use digital Braille at the library.

Tips and Tech for Personal Fitness

Saturday January 6, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

If one of your resolutions for 2018 is to get in better shape, we want to help. Join us as we hear from athletes with disabilities talk about their personal fitness journeys, get to know what kind of activities and classes the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation has to offer, and learn about low and no cost mobile apps and online tools that can help you exercise your body, mind and spirit. Light refreshments will be served. You can be a more happy and healthy you in the New Year!


CyberSecurity With Accessibility In Mind

Presented with Walei Sabry

Thursday January 18, 12 noon - 2:00 PM

As life becomes more digitally involved, online privacy and security are more important than ever. The NYC Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities and Department of Information Telecommunication and Technology invite you to Join us to learn about accessibility and cyber security. Learn how to make your mobile devices and online accounts more secure.

Tactile Tactics: Making Accessible Images and 3D Models

Presented with Annie Leist

Saturday February 3, 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Join Annie Leist, Disability Inclusion Associate at the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, for a workshop that will get you thinking about how to design effective and meaningful tactile graphics and models to engage people with and without vision. Explore the differences between visual and tactile experience, and learn how to use that awareness to thoughtfully plan, create, and select successful tactile representations and objects to serve constituents and engage audiences. You’ll also review strategies on how to implement the tactiles well, and how context can impact a tactile’s meaning.


App Swap: Patrons Sharing Apps and Tips

Presented with Antonio Guimaraes

Tuesday February 6, 5:00 PM - 6:45 PM

Do you have a favorite app for performing a task? Do you wonder what apps you need to get things done? Share your favorite apps and questions at our first App Swop Workshop. Bring your ideas, your enthusiasm, your curiosity, and a way to take notes because you'll leave with at least a few new apps to try.


The AT Crowd: a Place to Talk About and Test New Ideas in Accessible Technology

Tuesday February 20, 5:00 PM – 6:45 PM

This quarterly gathering is a chance for designers, developers and students of accessible technology to network with assistive technology users. Come try out accessible apps and services, share your ideas and help shape the future of inclusive technology.


What’s New with Microsoft Narrator

Wednesday February 21, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Learn about the built-in screen reader that is included with Windows 10. Find out about recent improvements to Narrator including new voices, support for image recognition and Braille displays. Get informed about what Narrator does well, and when you may still want to use a third-party screen reader instead.


Intro to Word 2016

Saturday March 3, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Find out what’s new in Word 2016 (for Mac and PC). We’ll demonstrate new features, talk about screen reader compatibility, and help you identify local, distance-learning and self-study options for becoming a confident Word 2016 user. We’ll also take a few minutes to explain how Microsoft OneDrive helps you manage your documents across devices, including your smartphone or tablet.


Computer Maintenance Basics

Presented with Dennis Farro

Saturday March 17, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Learn how to perform essential maintenance on your Windows computer, including backing up and restoring files, choosing and using antivirus software, and getting rid of unwanted files and cookies that affect computer performance. Understand how to perform maintenance tasks using the screen reader of your choice.




Storytime with Anthony or Susanna

Fridays at 11:15 AM.  For ages 0-5. Playtime follows.

Baby Lapsit

Mondays at 3:30 PM.  For infants ages 0-18 months, and their caregivers.

Parents' Meetup, Lunch, and Information Session (offsite)

 Join Lighthouse Guild’s Parent Support Group (NAPVI), Andrew Heiskell Library, Educational Vision Services (EVS) and NYS Commission for the Blind to: Learn about the importance of Early Literacy, Meet other families, Hear about FREE services and resources, Learn about FREE books and Early Literacy kits, Fun activities for the kids! RSVP is suggested. 

Monday, January 8, 2018, 10:30am-1pm at Brooklyn Central Library. Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 10am-1pm at Williamsburg Library.
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 10am-2p, at NYC Braille Challenge, P 721 Q, JFK Jr. School


This issue we’re sharing top picks from one of the New York Public Library’s horror and sci-fi gurus, Isaiah Pittman, to add more chills to your winter reading!


Valis by Philip K. Dick DB 35690 

The acclaimed author actually makes himself a character in his own unique novella, which blends science fiction, philosophy and biography in a no-stone-unturned search for God and the secret of life. This book definitely raises more questions than it answers... and I mean that in the best possible way!


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, DB 21679, BRA 02990

Shirley Jackson wrote the quintessential ghost story, of four strangers alone in a house where nothing can be easily explained, nobody knows one another and everything seems to be alive with evil... or something very much like it.


Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill DB DB 64088, BR 17064 

A retired rock star and his stripper girlfriend find themselves the newest targets of a vengeful ghost with hypnotic powers. A rocking ride down nightmare lane!


The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, DB 21322 

Ray Bradbury was a master storyteller, swinging from high-tech nightmares to fantastical flights of fancy at the drop of a hat. This collection of his spaciest stories will take you to Mars and back.


Holidays and Closings

We will be closed for the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1
  • Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 15
  • Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 19

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. You can leave us book requests too!