#brailleiowa and the Braille Rumble

The 2021 Iowa Regional Braille Challenge is coming to a close.  We would like to congratulate all of our participants and send them the Braille Rumble cheer as they finish up their testing for the Challenge.


Testing for students was held during a remote testing window of February 1, 2021 – February 28, 2021.  The Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind in North America for students who are blind or visually impaired. Braille Institute developed the Braille Challenge to motivate students to practice and hone their braille literacy skills, which are essential to academic and employment success. 

Our final Iowa Braille Challenge event will be the Virtual Awards Ceremony for Braille Challenge participants, their families, and educators on Saturday, March 27th at 10:00am.  Registration

It is not too late to order your Braille Challenge T-Shirt!

To help us celebrate the Braille Challenge and Braille literacy, we are pleased to work with Raygun this year for the Braille Challenge t-shirt. All proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and future Braille Challenges.

All shirts are crew neck and short-sleeved. The shirts are heather red with white lettering. The front of the t-shirt says in print: #brailleiowa. The back of the t-shirt says the same thing in Braille. All adult sizing is unisex and all shirts are $15.00. T-shirts will be mailed to the address you provide on the order form. Participants of the Braille Challenge will be provided with a t-shirt.  Orders can be placed until Friday, February 26th.  T-shirt Order Form

Shirts are heather red with white lettering. The front of the t-shirt says in print: #brailleiowa. The back of the t-shirt says the same thing in Braille

For more information about the Braille Challenge check out our Braille Challenge page

Cozy Mystery IDB Read

Please join us for the Cozy Mystery IDB Read!  Every Wednesday and Friday from 10:00am – 11:00am we will listen to narrator, Judy Fausch, read a cozy mystery.  We will be starting with Live and Let Chai by Bree Baker.  A cozy whodunit set in a beachside town in North Carolina.

Life hasn’t been so sweet for Everly Swan over the past couple of years, but now she’s back in her seaside hometown of Charm, North Carolina. The proud new owner of Sun, Sand, and Tea—a café right on the beach—Everly thinks that things are finally starting to look up. Until a grouchy customer turns up dead on the boardwalk with a jar of one of her specialty teas lying right next to him! When an autopsy reports poison in his system, things don’t look good for Everly or her tea shop.  As the townspeople of Charm, formerly so welcoming and homey, turn their back on Everly, she fights to dig up clues about who could have had it in for the former town councilman. With the maddeningly handsome Detective Grady Hays discouraging her from uncovering leads and a series of anonymous attacks on Everly and her tea shop, it will take everything she’s got to keep this murder mystery from boiling over.

Nothing sounds better than being whisked away to the beach right now during our extreme cold streak!  So grab your phone, a nice cozy blanket, a comfy chair, and let’s take a trip to North Carolina.

Don’t worry if you miss a day, we’ll catch you right up on the next call!

Call the Library at 515.281.1323 for the conference call number.

Thanks for listening with us!

Library Chat Podcast: February 2021

February’s Library Chat focuses on braille. Library staff discusses the programs the library offers for our braille readers and those who would like to know more about braille.  They also discuss the library’s own podcast Braille Bits by Youth Services Librarian, Denise Bean.

Also, check out the library’s monthly Library News podcast and Braille Bits podcast.  Check out the library’s Podcast Page for information on all the library’s podcasts and episodes.

Tech Tip: Zoom Accessibility Add-On for NVDA

Tech Tip

With a lot of classes and meetings happening on Zoom the NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) community has come up with an NVDA add-on that makes using Zoom easier and more accessible.  NVDA is a free and open-source screen reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Through the NVDA Community Add-ons, you can make improvements to the experience of using Zoom for NVDA users by providing keyboard shortcuts.  These affect how alerts are reported throughout the meeting software. 

In order to use these features, you will need to go to the Zoom Accessibility Enhancements and then download it.  Once its download while NVDA is on select the file and NVDA will walk through the rest.

Be sure to check out other NVDA add-ons on their Community Page!


Cozy Mystery IDB Read – Please join us!

The Cozy Mystery IDB Read has a new time and days!  Starting on Wednesday, February 10th, please join us on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00am-11:00am via conference call to listen to narrator, Judy Fausch, read a cozy mystery.  What is a cozy mystery you ask?  According to Wikipedia, “cozy mysteries, also referred to as ‘cozies’, are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence occur off stage, the detective is an amateur sleuth, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.”  What could be better on a snowy, winter morning than curling up in your favorite chair and listening to a nice, cozy mystery?  If you are interested in joining the call, please call the library at 515.281.1323 and we will give you the conference call information.

Western IDB Read is also still going strong!  Every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00am-11:00am, you can call in and listen to Bob White read a western by Louis L’Amour.  Same conference call number as the Cozy Mystery IDB Read.

Thanks for listening with us!

February Youth Programs @ the Playground

Each month that passes us by, it keeps getting better and better all the time @ the Playground! Please give a round-of-applause for all the guests that visited our Library!

Join us for our February virtual events!  On February 8th for our virtual Makerspace Monday, we will get tangled in string art! This is very special string art, as it has a message on the outside in Braille, all created using NAILS! Also, we will have an added surprise with a featured video giving us a sneak peek into how the String Art was created!
On February 20th at our virtual STEM and Stories Saturday, we will meet a real-life superhero himself, Jake, who is a fireman and EMT [Emergency Medical Team]! He may even teach us a few tips on how to be safe in a fire! Gee, I think I hear the fire truck now, whhaaaaaaa!!
Don’t forget about our new program called Braille Babies on February 20th at 11:00am. In January, we had fun learning about the Braille Cell, letter a, dot 1, as a matter of fact! We sang and talked all about “opposites”! We didn’t want to leave anyone out, grown-ups also learned about a great “Parenting Tip”!

Makerspace Monday Virtual Event
Date and Time: February 8th at 6:30 p.m.
Activity: String Art and Braille
Register Here

STEM and Stories Saturday Virtual Event
Date and Time: February 20th at 10:00 a.m.
Activity: Featured Guest Fireman and EMT, Jake
Register Here

Braille Babies
Date and Time: February 20th at 11:00 a.m.
Activity: Activities, Games, and More! Making Connections Together!
Ages: 0 to 4 years’ old
Information and Registration Here

Hope to see you soon!

Denise Bean, Youth Services Librarian