Audio news service to be introduced in Nacogdoches to blind and - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Audio news service to be introduced in Nacogdoches to blind and print disabled

Lara Sowell, President of Lone Star Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas accesses NFB-NEWSLINE on her smartphone. (Source: KTRE Staff) Lara Sowell, President of Lone Star Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas accesses NFB-NEWSLINE on her smartphone. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Sowell uses the multiple mobile app to access newspaper and magazines free of charge. (Source: KTRE Staff) Sowell uses the multiple mobile app to access newspaper and magazines free of charge. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NFB-NEWSLINE is a free service for the blind and print disabled. Anyone who cannot read conventional newsprint can qualify for the free service. (Source: KTRE Staff) NFB-NEWSLINE is a free service for the blind and print disabled. Anyone who cannot read conventional newsprint can qualify for the free service. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Technology is making those with sight or other physical challenges easy to stay in touch with the world.

The mission of a free service called NFB-NEWSLINE is to serve the blind and anyone who has difficulty holding and reading a newspaper or publication. 

A Nacogdoches woman letting others know the service improves quality of life.

“What part of speech is it? Noun, verb, pronoun, adverb, adjective?" teacher Lara Sowell asked a student teacher.

"Being a Latin teacher, you know I love words,” Sowell said.

They’re words that Sowell can’t see.

Sowell is the president of the Lone Star Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas.

“What do I see? I don't have any central vision,” Sowell said.

The president of the Lone Star Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas began losing her vision at age 7. Genetic juvenile macular degeneration wasn't diagnosed until Sowell was 13. 

“We have to do things in a different way, but we can learn to do things and live a full life,” Sowell said.

The teacher, wife, mother, and grandmother reads newspapers and magazines through a free multiple mobile app called NFB-NEWSLINE. If you can dial a phone, you can call NFB- 

“It can be a home phone, cell phone, it doesn't matter,” Sowell said. “There are over 400 publications worldwide. And we have 14 publications of just Texas."

The service goes beyond blind people.

"It's a free service with anyone with a print disability,” Sowell said. “Say if you have Parkinson’s, you have trouble holding the paper because it shakes too much, or if you dyslexia, and you have trouble reading that would also give you a qualifying reason to sign up for this free service."

Weather alerts, custom news demands, and all other features can also be accessed on a computer screen reader and portable reading players. 

A week from today, Stephen F. Austin State University’s Human Services is hosting an open house to introduce NFB-NEWSLINE to Deep East Texans.

“There will be people there who can sign you up for NEWSLINE and will be giving NEWSLINE demonstrations,” Sowell said.

So more individuals can truthfully say...

"Amazing. Not getting left out of the world,” Sowell said.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph, the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, and Texas Monthly are among the Texas publications sharing with NFB-NEWSLINE.
The open house is Thursday, February 22 from 2 to 5 p.m.at SFA's Human Services Building, Room 306.

Everyone who subscribes during the event will have a chance to win a $100 cash prize. 

For a link to NFB-NEWSLINE, click here.

Lara Sowell can be reached at lsowell@nfbtx.org  or (832) 224-6440, and Liz Wisecarver, NFB-NEWSLINE’s Texas coordinator, can be reached at lwisecarver@nfbtx.org or (346) 704-0145.

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