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NOTIS system to serve the visually impaired.

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has selected NOTIS Systems to provide an information management system to make their resources more accessible to people who are blind and visually aired. The NOTIS system will enhance the mission of APH, a not-for-profit company that produces materials for the blind and visually impaired.

Through NOTIS, APH will provide publishers, educators, librarians, and the visually impaired with access to their online catalog.

"We are enthusiastic about the new system. I'm sure that our users will also be pleased with it," said Christine Anderson, Cataloger at APH.

"Materials in alternate media are generally very difficult to locate. We want to provide accessibility to these materials to a diverse user group. At the same time, we wish to provide the most comprehensive information available about these materials. The NOTIS system will help us accomplish this goal," said Anderson.

The NOTIS system offers the ability to immediately index. This immediacy will help APH and others quickly determine if an item has already been produced in an alternate media such as braille. This will save producers time and money by helping them avoid duplication.

In addition to listing APH materials, this database will list materials from cooperating agencies. Currently, the following agencies are involved in the effort.

* The National Library Service for the Blind and physically Handicapped (NLS) - the Library of Congress' branch for the site disabled

* Recordings for the Blind

* National Library of Canada

* 200 volunteer agencies

APH has an inventory of more than 40,000 products including braille books. large type books, recorded materials, and instructional aids. By cooperating with other agencies, APH hopes to make several hundred thousand records available in the database.

APH will be adding an order entry component to the system. This will make it easy for agencies to access APH's inventory and to purchase materials for the visually impaired people they serve. The ultimate goal is for customers to be able to search the NOTIS system, choose the materials they want, display an order screen, place their order, and find out the status of their federal funds - all in a matter of minutes.

The American Printing House for the Blind is located in Louisville. Kentucky and has served visually impaired people since it was founded in 1858. The U.S. Government passed an act to promote the education of the blind in 1879, officially designating APH as the source for educational products for the nation's blind students.

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Publication:Information Today
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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