[Nfbnet-members-list] FW: Critical Funding Shortage Threatens NFB-NEWSLINE® in Maine

Kuhnke, Kristian KKuhnke at nfb.org
Thu Oct 15 14:59:36 UTC 2015


Chris Danielsen
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org

Critical Funding Shortage Threatens NFB-NEWSLINE® in Maine

Blind and Print-Disabled Maine Residents May Lose Free,
Independent Access to Vital News and Information

Baltimore, MD (October 15, 2015): Due to lack of 
funding, NFB-NEWSLINE®, a free service from the 
National Federation of the Blind that provides 
independent access for blind and print-disabled 
people to hundreds of local and national 
publications, emergency weather alerts, job 
listings, and TV listings, may be terminated in 
Maine, effective November 13, 2015. Termination 
of this service will drastically limit the 
ability of print-disabled Maine residents to 
easily and independently obtain in-depth 
information about breaking news, weather 
emergencies, international affairs, job listings, and community events.

NFB-NEWSLINE® allows those who cannot read 
conventional newsprint to listen to newspapers 
and magazines over the telephone, on the web, by 
on-demand emails, by portable players, or via a 
free mobile app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod. 
NFB-NEWSLINE® offers two Maine newspapers, Bangor 
Daily News and Portland Press Herald, as well as 
Associated Press Maine. In addition to state 
newspapers from Maine and across the nation, 
subscribers have access to many national 
publications, including the New York Times, USA 
Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, 
and the Christian Science Monitor. NFB-NEWSLINE® 
also provides a free local channel through which 
print-disabled Maine residents can gain access to 
information from state agencies and legislative 
bodies that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.

Through the service, print-disabled people can 
access over four hundred newspapers and magazines 
independently, determining how, when, and where 
they wish to read their favorite publications. 
The service also provides access to over 100,000 job listings.

NFB-NEWSLINE® also provides weekly weather 
forecasts and emergency weather alerts. Blind 
people can hear the emergency tones on a 
television but cannot read the print scrolling on 
the screen. After hearing these tones, 
NFB-NEWSLINE®  subscribers can call the service 
and hear the emergency weather alert as soon as 
they log in. From there they have access to a 
full weather report if they choose. These weather 
reports are especially crucial during winter months.

For the past several years, Maine’s NFB-NEWSLINE® 
service has been sponsored by private funding 
sources. The service requires approximately 
$30,000 annually to maintain in Maine. If funding 
is not found on or before November 13, 2015, 
blind and print-disabled Maine residents will no 
longer have access to NFB-NEWSLINE®.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National 
Federation of the Blind, said, “The incredible 
resource of NFB-NEWSLINE®  should be available to 
every blind and print-disabled person. Having 
access to current news and information is 
essential for people to live the lives they want.”

Leon Proctor, president of the National 
Federation of the Blind of Maine, said, “This 
service is vital to blind and print-disabled 
Maine residents. Nowhere else can they find such 
comprehensive, up- to-the-minute access to news 
and information. I personally am going to miss 
reading the national newspapers and breaking news.”

Scott White, director of NFB-NEWSLINE®, said: “We 
are sorry to see the service terminated in this 
state. For many blind people, NFB-NEWSLINE®  is 
their only accessible and timely source of news 
and information. We hope we can obtain the 
necessary funding to continue to provide the 
newspapers, weather alerts, job listings, retail 
ads and TV listings to our subscribers in Maine.”

To learn how you can help keep NFB-NEWSLINE® 
available in Maine, please call Scott White, 
Director of Sponsored Technology at the National 
Federation of the Blind, at (410) 659-9314, 
extension 2231 or send an email to <mailto:swhite at nfb.org>swhite at nfb.org.

To learn more about NFB-NEWSLINE®, please visit 


About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind knows that 
blindness is not the characteristic that defines 
you or your future. Every day we raise the 
expectations of blind people, because low 
expectations create obstacles between blind 
people and our dreams. You can live the life you 
want; blindness is not what holds you back.

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