The Fred's Head blog contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Fred's Head is offered by the American Printing House for the Blind. It was voted best blindness-related blog three years in a row by BlindBargains.com.

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Fred's Head is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, who passed away on September 21, 2014. Check out the bottom of this page for: subscribing to posts via email; browsing articles by subject; subscribing to RSS feeds; APH resources; the archive of this blog; APH on YouTube; contributing articles to Fred's Head; and disclaimers.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sacred Texts: Where to Get Them in Alternate Media

Alliance Ministries Audio Bibles

This organization, based out of Brandenton, Florida, will put an audio version of a Bible onto a blank NLS cartridge. All the customer needs to do is send them a blank cartridge with a note specifying which version of the Bible is wanted, ie. King James Version, etc. Other than the cost to ship the cartridge to Alliance Ministries, the service is free. 

Mail the blank cartridge to:



Alliance Ministries
Audio Bibles
PO Box 621
Bradenton, FL  34206

DAISY Scriptures

This web page contains Daisy audio and text versions of scriptures from several faiths, perhaps most notably the New International Version of the Bible and the Qu'ran.

Click here to visit DAISY Scriptures

Helping Hands Braille Ministry

The Helping Hands Braille Ministry has a great number of braille books that relate to the church and some braille Hymnals. There are too many to list here, but you can click this link to see their entire list of books.

KITABA: Islamic Texts for the Blind

The Islamic Texts for the Blind project is a social enterprise community project dedicated to empowering and promoting the growth and well being of visually impaired Muslims and their communities through meeting their religious, educational and developmental needs, thereby advancing accessibility and awareness.

To read more about KITABA, volunteer or become a member, please visit http://www.kitaba.org
.

Bibles for the Blind

Biblesfortheblind.org prints and distributes the Bible in braille without charge to the blind and visually impaired throughout the world who are otherwise unable to afford to read God's Word. 

Biblesfortheblind.org has announce that the BRF files they use to create hard copy braille bibles are available on their website. The KJV Bible, 17 BRF files, The daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers 4 BRF files and more are ready for download at: http://www.biblesfortheblind.org.

Unitarian Universalist Resources for People with Vision Impairments

The following resources are now available for those with impaired vision.

Spoken Word

The following are currently available on four-track audio tapes with tone indexing and Braille labels.
  • UU World: No cost from Identity-Based Ministries.
  • Chosen Faith: Two-tape set is $12 from the Massachusetts Association for the Blind.
  • UU (Unitarian Universalist) meditation manuals: From the Massachusetts Association for the Blind.
  • UU Pocket Guide: From the Massachusetts Association for the Blind.
MP3 format CD The following is spoken word, searchable, and with tone indexing:
  • Welcoming Children with Special Needs by Sally Patton: No cost from Identity-Based Ministries.
Digital Files in Microsoft Word: These can be sent as an email attachment or a CD, and converted on an individual computer to any size font for printing, to spoken word (screen reader), or to Braille.
  • Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide: No cost from Identity-Based Ministries.
  • Singing the Living Tradition, all lyrics and readings: No cost from Identity-Based Ministries.
  • Soul Work: Anti-Racist Theologies in Dialogue, edited by Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley and N.P. Jones: No cost from Identity-Based Ministries.
  • Weaving the Fabric of Diversity (Religious Education curriculum): No cost from Identity-Based Ministries.
Because of copyright restrictions, these alternative format media are for use only by people who cannot utilize them in regular printed form.

Contact Information

Email: access@uua.org or
interconnections@uua.org

The Massachusetts Association for the Blind has hundreds of books on 4-track tape for sale, including, many progressive books. For more information, email rpierson @ mabcommunity.org or call 617-926-4232.

Christian Record Services

Christian Record Services provides free Christian publications and programs for people with visual impairments. The goal of the many volunteers, employees, and trustees of Christian Record Services is to reach every blind or visually impaired person in North America with their free Christian publications and services. Services include:
  • Subscription Magazines are available in braille, large print, and audio cassette.
  • Full-Vision Books combine braille and print, enabling blind parents to read to their sighted children and sighted parents help their blind children learn to read braille.
  • The Lending Library lends more than 2,000 volumes in braille and audio cassette.
  • Gift Bibles and Study Guides are available in braille, large print, and audio cassette.
  • National Camps for Blind Children are operated throughout North America.
  • Scholarship Assistance is given on a limited basis to blind young people trying to obtain a college education.
For more information, contact:

Christian Record Services, Inc. / National Camps for Blind Children
4444 South 52nd Street
Lincoln NE 68516-1302
Phone: 402-488-0981
Fax: 402-488-7582
Email: info@christianrecord.org
Web: http://christianrecord.org

Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind, Inc.

Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind, or BAB Inc., was designed and created primarily to minister to the needs of blind and deaf-blind individuals for Bible teaching and ministry; to promote Christian growth through Bible centered teaching and fellowship; and to provide study and reference materials centered in the Christian faith. 

Born the 4th of July on a farm in western Iowa, Grant Metcalf gradually lost his sight over the space of a year as a result of an injury suffered when he was 7 years old. Enrolled at the Iowa School for the Blind at 8, he graduated high school in 1958. Soon, Grant moved to the San Francisco bay area where he met and married his wife, Judi--they have 2 daughters; Shari and Pam, and 1 grandson, Anthony. 

Grant has worked as a masseur; mechanic (rebuilding automatic transmissions); musician; darkroom technician and medical transcriber at Seton Medical Center; and as Executive Director, President and General Manager of The East Bay Center for the Blind in Berkeley, California. 

Nelly Metcalf, Grant's mother, was a devout Christian who would read the Bible to her son and pray with and for him. Her last gift to Grant was a braille Bible when he was 15. 

Grant has always been active in the local church. He has scrubbed bathrooms, taught Sunday School, accompanied congregational singing, provided special music, served as a deacon, and occasionally preached at Gospel missions. 

Grant now serves as coordinator of the Bartimaeus Bible Conference. This annual event has provided an opportunity for ministry in a special way to the blind. Out of this activity has grown the Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind, a non-profit, Christian organization, dedicated to serving blind and deaf-blind individuals through a Bible teaching ministry: promoting Christian growth through Bible centered teaching and fellowship, as well as making available study and reference materials centered in the Christian faith. 

For more information, contact:

Grant E. Metcalf
Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind, Inc.
P.O. Box 572
South San Francisco, CA 94083-0572
Phone: 650-589-6890
Web: http://bartimaeus.us


On this site, you'll find a variety of pages offering good Bible study and reference tools, for example, Lewis Sperry Chafer's Systematic Theology, Arno C. Gaebelein's Annotated Bible Commentary, along with more books by these and other authors. Additionally, over the last two years, a lot of time has been spent gathering and preparing New Testament Greek grammars, lexicons, and several versions of the Greek New Testament in braille ready files. You will also find recorded messages from the annual Bartimaeus Bible Conference, as well as interesting articles and life stories on the personal pages. 

Some of the books come in braille ready files and print format, the majority only in print. Things believed to be under copyright in the Christian Bookshare section or in the Braille Library section require a qualified membership to access, but , there are plenty of Public Domain articles and books.
They also have a few items that are free or at low prices in hard copy or audio form which are free or which involve a small donation. These include the popular Solar Talking Bible, which they call the "Pocket" Bible", in either King James or New American Standard (NASB) versions. Proof of visual impairment or reading disability is required. They have a 7 volume Brail Bible Dictionary for a "donation" of $100 They also offer two Bible story books for kids and several versions of the Bible in various formats. Applications are available on the website, but there will be an additional phone call for verification of information relating to disability. This is a great deal for the pocket Bibles. They sell anywhere from $70 to $119 from commercial sources. 

If you are not familiar with the website, > http://bartimaeus.us>do come check it out and see if there is anything you find of interest: >> http://bartimaeus.us.
 

The Bible In Excel

John Walkenbach of The J-Walk Blog: http://j-walkblog.com has created an Excel version of The Bible. (Note: The blog will no longer be updated, and a note on the blog says that it will be up at least through November 2012, and as of February, 2013, it's still there but we can make no promises of how long it will be up.)

"I found a text file with the complete King James Version of the Bible. I wrote a few macros and dumped it all into an Excel workbook. Each book is on a separate worksheet, and each verse is in a separate cell.
It has a handy hyperlink table of contents so you can jump to any book. I also wrote some summary formulas to calculate the number of characters in each book, and the average number of characters per verse. Then I added a word count feature: Enter a word and it displays the number of occurrences in each book." 

You can click this link to download The Bible In Excel. It's a 1.8 Mb zip file, and it expands to a 6.1Mb Excel workbook.

Here's a website that contains The Bible as HTML and audio: http://scriptures.lds.org
.

Electronic Bibles

You can now purchase electronic versions of The Bible. Click this link to visit http://www.talkingbibles.org or click here to visit http://www.audioscriptures.org.

Talking Bibles International
419 East Grand Avenue
Escondido, CA 92025
Phone: 760-745-8105
Email: info@talkingbibles.org

The Solar Powered Talking Bible

Need your bible on the go? Got bad vision? Dependent on solar power? Then the Solar Powered Talking Bible is for you! It's easy to use, no batteries required, and runs about 14 hours on a full charge. And it comes with a free set of earbuds! 

The Solar Powered Talking Bible is perfect for the 50+ crowd, the visually impaired, or anyone on-the-go who wants to hear the Word of the Lord."

Order by phone from First Street Online: 866-915-8324 and mention promo code: 33063 or Click this link to visit shop.com to learn more.

The Bible in MP3 Audio Format

Welcome to the AudioTreasure site where you can download the Bible in the popular mp3 audio format and find links to Bible audio resources in many languages. 

(Some of their mp3 Bibles can be legally copied and given to others.) 

You can also order Bibles in mp3 audio and DVD format from their online store.
Bibles in mp3 available for Free Download
  • The World English Bible Old and New Testaments
  • The King James Bible voice only
  • The King James Bible soft music background
  • Hebrew Old Testament narrated by ASI
  • Spanish Reina Valera Nuevo Testamento y Salmos
  • The Mandarin Bible narrated by ASI Old and New Testaments
  • Cantonese NT narrated by ASI
  • Italian New Testament narrated by ASI
  • Hindi New Testament narrated by ASI
  • Russian New Testament narrated by ASI
Click this link to listen to download these texts as MP3 files: http://www.audiotreasure.com . The New International Version of The Bible can be streamed from BibleGateway.com.
Links to more Bible audio in different languages
Talking Bibles International has produced The Bible in 68 languages which are now available in the RealAudio format from their website. Click this link to visit TalkingBibles.net

If you are looking for a bible in large print or braille, the following agencies offer different versions in alternate formats:


  • American Bible Society
    Phone: (212) 408-1200
    The following versions are available in braille:
    Complete King James Version

    Psalms New Revised Standard Version

    New Testament New Revised Standard Version (5 volumes)

    The following versions are available on tape:
    Complete King James Version

    Complete King James Version in Spanish

    Complete Today's English Version

    Psalms - Today's English Version

  • Bibles for the Blind and Visually Handicapped International.
    Phone: (812) 466-4899
    The King James Version
    - Available in Braille, free
  • Hosanna Ministries
    Phone: (800) 545-6552
    The Holy Bible
    available in English and Spanish
  • Lutheran Braille Workers Union
    Phone: (800) 925-6092
    The complete New International Version
    is available in braille.
    Parts of the New International Version are available in different languages. The International Children's Bible is available in GRADE 1 Braille.
    The Complete New International Version is also available in large Print - 18 pt.
  • Christian Church Without Walls
    Address: P. O. Box 26247
    Wilmington, DE 19899
    The King James
    and the New American Standard Version are available in large print 13.5 pt. Send a written request stating that you are legally blind, and what version you want to receive. These bibles are free of charge.
  • Aurora Ministries
    Phone: 941-748-3031
    Address: P. O. Box 621
    Bradenton, Florida 34206
    Old Testament, New Testament, and Bible Studies materials are available free of charge.
  • The National Library Service (NLS) has a list of sources for sacred writings on their FTP server. This is a large text document, around 38 pages, so you will probably want to use your word processor's search feature to find the book or books you are looking for. The list includes sources of braille, large print and audio formats of several different editions of the Bible and of sacred writings from other major religions such as the Koran, the Torah, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. For more information, call the NLS at the toll-free number below.

    National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
    Toll Free: 800-424-8567
    Email: nls@loc.gov
    Web: http://www.loc.gov/nls/
  • Bible Gateway: http://www.biblegateway.com Bible Gateway provides the Bible online for both research and study purposes. Currently, there are eleven different versions available in nineteen languages including German, Swedish, Latin, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Tagalog (the main Philippine dialect). Additional versions and translations are being added as permissions to use these are obtained.
  • Biblseekr: http://www.bibleseeker.org Biblseekr is considered by some to be the most accessible Bible search program. Some new versions of the Bible have recently been added to its options.
  • Large Print Documents on CD "Prayers & Psalms for Today" is a CD that can help in all kinds of life situations. It includes selections from Prayers and Thanksgivings, Prayers for the Sick, Prayers for Use by a Sick Person, as well as The Psalter from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) of The Episcopal Church, USA.
    The CD is in APhont, a special font designed for people who are blind or visually impaired. The font was developed by the American Printing House for the Blind. The CD is formatted in Microsoft Word. The main body is in 20 point. The material is laid out for 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
    The material on "Prayers & Psalms for Today" can be printed out and distributed to the blind or visually impaired, including shut-ins, college and seminary students, clergy, people in nursing homes, prisons, and hospitals. The prayers and Psalms can be made into a booklet. ISN'T TECHNOLOGY AMAZING?
    Blind individuals with electronic notetakers and special software, and visually-impaired people with access to computers can use the CD. Optical character reader equipment that can read documents formatted in Microsoft Word should also be able to read the "Prayers & Psalms for Today" and "The LARGE-PRINT Book of Common Prayer" CD material.
    "The LARGE-PRINT Book of Common Prayer" CD includes the entire Book of Common Prayer of the ECUSA (1979). It is formatted in Microsoft Word, 18 point type and is laid out for 8.5 x 11 inch paper. The BCP CD can be used to help prepare large-print worship materials. It was also suggested that it can be adapted and used to help children.
    Both CDs have been distributed to bishops, clergy, deacons, churches, seminaries, colleges, bookstores, resource centers, prison ministries, eye-care professionals, hospitals, military and veterans' hospitals, mental-health ministries, and individuals throughout the U.S. They've been ordered by ECUSA, United Methodist, Free Methodist, Anglican, and Assembly of God churches and/or social service agencies.
    To order "Prayers & Psalms for Today" or "The LARGE-PRINT Book of Common Prayer" CD, please send a self-addressed, stamped 6x9 envelope with three 39 cent stamps attached (four if it's a padded envelope) to me at:

    Ann Dahlen
    1900 6th Avenue, Apt. 513
    Rock Island, IL 61201.

    If you need more information, please email me at anndahlen3@att.net or largeprinthelp@att.net.
The E-Sword Bible Program is a powerful study tool featuring several versions of the Bible as well as dictionaries and commentaries. the program is quite usable with speech, and to make it more useful, there is a low-traffic mailing list where users can ask and answer accessibility questions. To join, send a blank message to eSword-Accessibility-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Optasia Ministry

Optasia Ministry has formed for the purpose of providing free, significant Bible study resources to those with visual disabilities who use screen reading software. Operating under a provision of the U.S. Copyright Code, Optasia Ministry is able to provide free materials such as commentaries, Greek and Hebrew word study, theological and ministry resources to those with visual disabilities. Also available is a New International Version Bible (and other Bible versions) which work well on a Braille note taker. Many of these copyrighted resources are not available to those with visual disabilities in any other way.
For more information, contact:

Tom Vos, director
Optasia Ministry, Inc.
185th St.
Wellsburg, IA 50680
Phone: 641-869-3305
Email: OptasiaMinistry@juno.com
Web: http://www.optasiaministry.org


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