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Tips for Marketing to the Visually and Physically Impaired in Your Community

“I wanted to thank you and your associates for this program. It truly is a miracle gift to persons who cannot see. With these books, my father has a full life and something to look forward to and occupy his mind, each day- as opposed to listening to the same 10 minutes of news on the radio, all day. This is the best use of our tax dollars ever!”

TBBC Four ImagesThe Talking Book and Braille Center (TBBC) receives many kudos just like this from its members. For New Jersey residents whose ability to read is affected by a physical impairment, a reading disability or a vision impairment, the TBBC offers books in Braille, cassette, and digital formats, as well as audio players, reading groups, and more.

If you’re interested in providing TBBC services through your library to your community, you can find more details and how to apply for the program on the State Library website. I recommend downloading “Getting Started for Librarians,” which gives an extensive overview of services, the eligibility requirements, and application process for TBBC. Also, check out the Outspoken Library, your gateway to the no-cost, home-delivered services available from TBBC.

For those who already promote TBBC services, or have an Outspoken Library kiosk located at your library, and are looking for new ways to market it to the community, check out the wealth of information on the State Library website. The list below is just a sampling of what’s available.

  •  Just getting familiar with TBBC services? Be sure to visit our Web page for Librarians and review the Intro to TBBC
  • Ready-to-use marketing materials, including a flyer, newspaper articles, a press release, and a PowerPoint presentation to help with advocacy, are available from the site and can be downloaded and customized.
  • Statistics are a persuasive tool for advocacy and awareness, and we offer dozens of data points and sources to illustrate the need for and benefits of TBBC. These statistics can be shared in social media, published on your Website, or used in media pitches. For example, did you know that 1.9% of New Jerseyans report a visual disability? Or that 37% of TBBC users use public libraries? And, according to Pew, 61% of audiobook listeners prefer to borrow from a library. These facts can be tweeted or shared on Facebook. Work them into your editorial calendar, or better yet, design a marketing campaign around them.
  • Another valuable resource for the community and librarians alike is the Outspoken Library, a virtual resource for TBBC members, their families and their caregivers. It provides details about registering for the program and offers the ability to find books and services.
  • Check the NJ State Library website frequently for upcoming events designed especially for members of TBBC. We recently announced a new book club for young adults.

Public Libraries are at the heart of our New Jersey communities. To increase the visibility of TBBC services, the State Library partners with fellow public libraries in several ways. Learn more here.

There are numerous ways to reach those with reading impairments, the visually impaired, and their families and caregivers. Getting Started for Librarians provides many ideas including:

  •  Reach out with a customized flyer to schools, senior centers, religious institutions, opticians, optometrists, ophthalmologists, health care providers, and other organizations.
  • Place a news story in your local newspaper.
  • Demonstrate the audiobook player at community events such as health fairs.

Check out the TBBC section of the State Library website and let us know in the comments below how you’re promoting the program in your community!

 

 

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