2006 Conference General Sessions



Annemarie Cooke
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic

20 Roszel Road
Princeton NJ 08540
Day Phone: 609-520-8079
Fax: 609-243-7056
Email: acooke@rfbd.org

Audio textbooks front RFB&D have become important tools for lifelong learning for students who are blind or visually impaired or who have learning disabilities. The AER conference provides a vital arena for educational professionals as well as parents to learn about the latest services offered by this national nonprofit organization.

Four years ago, RFB&D began production of textbooks recorded in the DAISY format. By recording digitally, using the DAISY standard, books are created that feature incredible ease of use for people who have print- related disabilities.

RFB&D’s “brand” of DAISY books, called “AudioPlus®”, provide ease in navigation by page, chapter and section as well as simple “go to page” function and ability to insert as many bookmarks as desired.

AudioPlus® was launched four years ago and its distribution by RF&D has remained concurrent with distribution of so-called “Classic Cassettes” — digital sound files delivered on four—track audiotape cassettes.

As this format has become all but obsolete in he current user arena, RFB&D is planning to transfer production of audio files in the DAISY format on CD. Classic Cassettes will become a thing of the past within the next two t to three years; thus “bye bye” to
the “beeptone navigation system that has been the norm for more than 30 years.

Benefits to RFB&D members as well as plans for collection development and addition of new playback equipment will be discussed during this presentation.

To facilitate effective use of AudioPlus, RFB&D’s digitally recorded textbooks, the organization has instituted an interactive learning tool that provides step-by-step directions for use of playback options. It also provides suggestions for learning strategies using these books.

With four years experience in utilizing digital technology for its textbooks, RFB&D has more than 20,000 titles available on CD presenting a core collection of the most-requested textbooks, K-college and graduate school.

For educators and other professionals in the blindness and learning disabilities fields, there is greater ease in ensuring successful use of this powerful accommodation. During this presentation, participants will learn features of the various hardware and software playback solutions for AudioPlus, RFB&D’s digitally recorded books. In addition, details will be provided about RFB&D’s new customer service and support materials, including a “classroom pack” that enables educators to quickly come up to speed in effective use of “Learning Through Listening” for their BVI students.

Participants also will have the opportunity for hands-on practice with the new digitally produced books to achieve a high degree of comfort in using this new technology.

Those who attend this session will learn:
• The scope and variety of AudioPlus digitally recorded books;
• Variety and specs for playback of these books;
• How to browse for books and order them through RFB&D’s new customer service
• How to operate the new interactive learning tool that enables members to use the various playback options and trouble-shoot when needed.
• How to receive installments of books currently in production in digital form.

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