The Braille Monitor

The Braille Monitor is the leading publication of the National Federation of the Blind.  It covers the events and activities of the NFB and addresses the many issues and concerns of blind people.

The Braille Monitor offers a positive philosophy about blindness to both blind readers and the public at large; serves as a vehicle for advocacy and protection of civil rights; addresses social concerns affecting the blind; discusses issues relating to employment, education, legislation, and rehabilitation; and provides news of products and technology used by the blind.

To learn more about our flagship publication, consider Kenneth Jernigan’s 1993 article entitled, “Concerning History and the Braille Monitor.”

The Braille Monitor has been the voice of the nation’s blind since 1957.


The May 2012 Braille Monitor!


PLEASE NOTE: After the December 2011 issue, the Braille Monitor will no longer be offered on 2- or 4-track cassette. If you are currently receiving the Monitor on cassette, you will need to select an alternate format.  Subscriptions are available in large print (14-point), in Braille, via e-mail  (see “E-mail Subscriptions” below), or online at our Website Beginning with the January 2012 issue, the Braille Monitor will also be available on our NFB-NEWSLINE® service and on a USB drive (see information on USB drive below).

To Subscribe, or change format:

To subscribe, change your format, or change your mailing address, please contact the NFB by mail; by phone at 410-659-9314, ext. 2344; or by e-mail (

Please indicate which format you would like to receive: large print (14-point), Braille, or USB drive.

More Info:

Eleven issues of the BrailleMonitor are published each year (August and September are combined into one issue and cover our annual national convention). Braille Monitor subscribers in the U.S. are invited to help cover the subscription cost ($25) when possible.  However, subscriptions mailed to foreign countries

are invoiced at $75 USD per year, and Canadian subscriptions are invoiced at $35 per year. Checks should be made payable to the National Federation of

the Blind and sent to the NFB, attention Braille Monitor, 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

USB Drive (also known as thumb drive or memory stick) Information

The digital player provided by the National Library Service has two slots for playing recorded material. The most familiar one is on the front of the unit. It accepts the special cartridge used by the Library. The second slot is found on the right side of the unit near the headphone jack, and, unless you have removed it or it has become dislodged, the slot is covered by a protective rubber pad. Removing this pad reveals an indentation in the unit where the USB drive is inserted. It will go into the unit in only one direction, so, if you encounter resistance, flip the drive over and try inserting it again. The main cartridge slot used to play books from the Library must be empty before you insert the memory stick in the right side of the player. If the main slot has a cartridge in it, the digital player will ignore the USB drive.

Once the USB drive has been inserted, the player should function just as it does when you are reading a book. Pressing the rewind or advance keys moves back or ahead by five seconds. Pressing the previous element or next element keys moves from article to article or, in some cases, moves to the next section in an article in which divisions are present. If you remove the USB drive to use the player for other material, when you again insert it, reading should resume from the place you stopped reading.  The USB drive will be every bit as functional as the cassettes we have been providing. The audio quality should be improved, along with the navigation, and the drive should last many years. If you think you will want to refer to an issue again, you are welcome to keep the drive, but, because they cost more than cassettes and can be used hundreds of times, readers willing to return the USB drives are requested to use the return address label that will be sent along with your drive. This will save money that we can use for other programs.

E-mail Subscriptions

If you would like to receive the magazine electronically for free, you may

sign up online to receive the Braille Monitor by e-mail.  (Please note: This is the only way to sign up to receive the Braille Monitor by e-mail.)

To remove yourself from the electronic distribution list of the Braille Monitor, send a message containing the line “signoff brl-monitor”–to

the Monitor subscription tool.

Be sure to send it from the account where you are currently receiving the Braille Monitor. When the electronic distribution software has removed you from

the list, it will send you an acknowledgement, confirming that you have indeed signed off the list.

Submitting Material

Articles for the Monitor and letters to the editor may be sent to the NFB, attention Gary Wunder,

200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21230 or may be e-mailed to the

editor, Gary Wunder.

Ordering Back Issues

Monthly issues are available to order from January of 1978 to the present in Braille and in print.  Issues from August of 1985 to the present are also available on 4-track cassette.

Visit the Independence Market’s Literature listing under Publications for more information about ordering back issues.

Online Recordings

The February 2007 issue of the Braille Monitor marks the beginning of a new era: in this issue, and those following, the same Braille Monitor recordings available on cassette are now available as MP3 files online.  Follow the online access links to the appropriate issue, and then look for the MP3 file listed beside each article in the table of contents.  Enjoy!

Online Access

The entire run of the Braille Monitor from 1957 to 1986 has been scanned by the Internet Archive and is available in accessible form at

If you need assistance in accessing these files, contact the tenBroek Library (

or 410-659-9314, ext. 2225).  Be aware, though, that the Internet Archive does not proofread the text files, so there will be errors.  Jernigan Institute

staff are in the process of proofreading and cleaning up the files produced by the Internet Archive.  As we complete work on each year’s files, they will

be mounting them on the national Web page.

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