AARP titles on audio

The National Federation of the Blind, a U.S. consumer group of more than 50,000, and AARP, a nonprofit organization representing nearly 38 million older Americans, partnered to make AARP publications accessible to all blind and low vision individuals in the United States.

AARP the Magazine, AARP Bulletin and AARP Segunda Juventud are available as of December on NFB-Newsline, a free, on-demand news service for the blind.

“AARP prides itself as being accessible,” said Cathy Ventura-Merkel, director of publications at AARP, Washington. “So this was obviously a huge issue for us.”

Using a synthetic speech engine, NFB-Newsline delivers an audio version of 238 participating newspapers and six magazines to its subscribers each day.

Content is from the Web or direct feed from the publisher. Portable readers for downloaded content are also available. The service is accessible at any time from a local or toll-free telephone number.

The organization put advertisements for the new service in each of its print publications, radio shows, videos and audio news releases. The NFB also notifies all of its users when a publication comes online and joins their service.

The primary target of the promotion effort is the half-million subscribers already aware of the NFB service. To subscribe or request more information, individuals can visit the National Federation for the Blind online at

“We have been approached [by many individuals], from people with mild vision impairment who want to use a computer without glasses, to the blind who this is a real priority for,” Ms. Ventura-Merkel said. “We want to be able to serve the people who need it the most.”

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