The Alabama Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH) is one of 55 network libraries partnering with the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a division of the Library of Congress. Special format materials and unique playback equipment are provided free of charge to those who qualify for the services. Through Congressional funding to the United States Postal Service (USPS), free mailing privileges are provided to all network libraries. Books are checked out for a 90-day loan period and can be renewed once for 30 days. In order to be issued playback equipment, a patron must check out at least one book or subscribe to one magazine per year.
BPH patrons are very familiar with the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD). Since late 2013, BPH clients have been able to use mobile devices such as an iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch to download books, magazines, and music from a collection of more than 87,000 titles that are available through the NLS.
You are eligible for services if you meet at least one of the following criteria:
- You are legally blind.
- You are unable to see standard print with corrected vision.
- You have a physical limitation that keeps you from holding a book or turning its pages.
- You are certified by a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy as having a reading disability due to an organic dysfunction.
- You are deaf-blind.
Whether a temporary or permanent loss, services are available when your disability is approved by a certifying authority as defined by NLS. Institutions who serve persons with qualifying disabilities are eligible for library services also. The certifying authority for institutions would be the administrator of that facility or program. Veterans are given preference in all areas of service.