Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped

The Library for the Blind and Print Disabled

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The Library for the Blind and Print Disabled is a FREE program for New Mexicans who have a disability preventing them from reading standard printed books. LBPD provides audio books and magazines on digital cartridges and digital players. The players are on loan to our patrons for as long as they are in the program. All of our titles are also available as free downloads for patrons from the NLS BARD website and BARD Mobile smartphone app for Android and iOS.

Individuals who fall into any of the following categories are eligible for service:

  1. Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
  2. Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material
  3. Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations.
  4. Persons certified by competent authority as having a perceptual or reading disability of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.
  5. Persons eligible for service (falling into any of the above categories) who are now living as residents of the United States (including its territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia), or are American citizens eligible for service who are now living abroad, or dependents of active military personnel or diplomats.

This includes individuals who have had a qualifying disability from birth, individuals who are disabled because of medical conditions or trauma, and individuals who become disabled as they age. Individuals who have a temporary disability may qualify for service on a temporary basis. Individuals who are blind or have a physical disability and who have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States receive special priority.

Who is a “Competent Authority”?

In cases of blindness, visual impairment, or physical limitations, “competent authority” is defined to include:

  • Doctors of Medicine
  • Doctors of osteopathy
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Optometrists
  • Registered nurses
  • Therapists
  • Professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or private welfare agencies, such as an educator, social worker, case worker, counselor, rehabilitation teacher, certified reading specialist, school psychologist, superintendent, or librarian.

In the absence of any of these, certification may be made by professional librarians or by any person whose competence under specific circumstances is acceptable to the Library of Congress.

If you or someone you know is interested in services, contact the LBPD via email sl.lbpd@state.nm.us or by phone 1-800-456-5515. The link for the application for services is available at: https://nmstatelibrary.org/direct-and-rural-services/lbph

About Carmelita Aragon

Carmelita is the State Data Coordinator for the New Mexico State Library

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