Guest Author - Carla Ruschival
Sighted people have all kinds of choices when it comes to magazines. One look at the check-out lane at any grocery and many department stores gives you a whole array of options of good and not-so-good reading material.
For blind people, the choices are slim. The publication of a braille magazine is very expensive when compared to the cost of its print counterpart. The Library of Congress, through a Congressional appropriation, produces a very limited number of titles each month, and these titles are mailed free of charge to eligible blind people throughout the United States.
Three magazines for women that are available in braille at no charge are:
Martha Stewart's Living - Packed full of ideas, crafts, and recipes, this magazine is made extra special by the inclusion of historical background information on plants, customs, foods and much more. Not only does Martha tell you how to prepare asparagus, she gives you details about how and where it grows, how it was eaten a hundred years ago, and how it is prepared in different parts of the world.
Ladies' Home Journal - A perennial favorite, this magazine has been published in braille for at least 40 years.
Cooking Light - A popular magazine with folks trying to "eat right", the recipes in this magazine are a bit fussy for my taste.
A magazine that is available to the blind on cassette tape is Good Housekeeping. Filled with stories, recipes, household tips, crafts and much more, this magazine is playable only on special 4-track machines available through the Talking Book Libraries.
Another magazine that is only available to the blind is "Our Special". This little magazine is published once a month, and contains a word puzzle, "Food for Thought" with ideas and tips, a hobbies column, knitting and crochet patterns, pen pals, recipes, travel tips and much more.
Taped subscriptions to Good Housekeeping and braille subscriptions to Martha Stewart, Ladies' Home Journal and Cooking Light are free. Magazines are produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), a service of the Library of Congress. Request subscriptions by writing or calling your state or local Talking Book library. If you don't know where your Talking Book library is, visit the NLS website at
Our Special is produced by National Braille Press. To order, visit the NBP website at: