Assisted living communities, schools for students who are blind or visually impaired, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, libraries, and other facilities that serve multiple eligible users can apply for NLS service as institutional accounts.

Holders of institutional accounts can borrow playback equipment and audio and braille reading materials for eligible students, clients, or patients to use individually or in a group setting. Institutions that don’t wish to maintain an on-site collection can apply for BARD-only accounts, which allows access to the NLS collection via digital download to a smart device. (BARD is the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download website.) Contact the NLS network library that serves your state for more information about institutional accounts. 

When I run across [other] veterans that are curious about what I’m doing, I usually take the time to open the [BARD Mobile] app, show them around, give them an idea of what’s available in the audiobook library, show them the different features. Most veterans haven’t been exposed to [having a] disability [for very long], so they’re very curious.

— NLS patron

NLS also produces resource materials that may be useful to institutions and those they serve. Below are descriptions and links to some of them. 

Information and Assistance Organizations has contact information for organizations that assist people who are blind or visually impaired, organizations for eye-care professionals, guide dog schools, and more. 

Resources for Aging Adults and Their Families includes organizations, online tools, and articles that help adults age 55 and older who have disabilities, as well as their caregivers, handle physical, psychological, and financial challenges. 

Resources for Disabled Veterans highlights organizations that assist those who have served their country with rehabilitation, employment, housing, legal issues, and more. 

Transition from School to Independent Living discusses transition programs, assistive technology that students can use to help with living independently, and more. 

Directory of Producers of Reading Materials lists organizations, groups, and individuals that produce reading materials for people who are blind or have a physical disability. 

Disability Awareness for Children Pre-K through Sixth Grade curates books, games, and activities that educate children with and without disabilities on disability awareness, people-first language, sign language, and braille.  

Emergency Preparedness Resource Guide for People with Disabilities provides resources and information for people with visual impairment, blindness, or other physical disabilities who wish to proactively plan for emergencies as well as recovering after one.  

Employment of People with Disabilities: A Resource Guide lists national organizations that provide information on a range of issues related to recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining employees with disabilities. 

Explore the variety of NLS Informational Publications on issues related to blindness, visual impairment, or physical disabilities, as well as compilations of current resources on many topics of interest to NLS readers and those who provide services to them.

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