APH Press Release

APH Launches "Imagination Library" Partnership with Dollywood Foundation to Make Books Accessible to Visually Impaired Children

Louisville, KY (October 3, 2011) – In June of this year, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and the Dollywood Foundation announced an exciting partnership to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) to provide young blind and visually impaired children with accessible books. Today, both organizations are pleased to announce that the APH/DPIL Partnership has launched!

The first DPIL audio book files are now available at the site as free downloads to registered members of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress (NLS). More audio books will be added each month.

Beginning in 2012, the Partnership will make available an annual selection of print/braille Imagination Library books free to eligible families and for purchase at low cost to all others (regular funds or Federal Quota funds can be used).

The Imagination Library is a program that has put more than 34 million free books in the hands of children age 5 and under, and thanks to the collaboration with APH, a selection of those books are being translated into braille and audio recordings.

Among Parton’s most passionate humanitarian efforts is her commitment to encourage a love of reading among preschool children and their families through her Imagination Library.

"There’s an old saying that you can tell a lot about a person based on the company they keep,” said Parton. “Any credit I get is really due to the hard work and fine reputation of all of those who partner with us to bring the love of reading to so many kids. I am just thrilled we can work together to bring this same joy to all children who may have trouble seeing but have no trouble in believing that all of their dreams can come true."

In addition to the audio book files, website visitors will find links to:

"We’re very excited that APH’s partnership with DPIL not only expands the number of accessible books for young children, but also connects families to a wide range of resources that will enable them to locate and bring more accessible books into their home. All children should have books of their own to share with parents and grandparents.” says APH President Tuck Tinsley.

For more information about APH, visit www.aph.org. For more information about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, visit www.imaginationlibrary.com, or the official Facebook page.

About The Imagination Library

Founded in 1996 in Parton’s native Sevier County in East Tennessee, The Imagination Library works with thousands of local sponsors such as United Way, Rotary, and Kiwanis to provide an age appropriate book to participating children ages five and under in 1,300 communities in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. More than seven million books were distributed in 2010, and approximately 675,000 children currently receive a book each month.

To provide the Imagination Library, a community must make the program accessible to all preschool children in their area, and the community pays for the books, promotes the program, and registers the children. Parton’s not-for-profit Dollywood Foundation manages the delivery of books to children’s homes.

The Dollywood Foundation is based in Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit www.imaginationlibrary.com.

About the American Printing House for the Blind

The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the world’s largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level.

APH manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also manufactures hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products. APH’s fully-accessible web site (www.aph.org) features information about APH products and services, online ordering of products, and free information on a wide variety of blindness-related topics.

About Federal Quota Funds

The Federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind was enacted by Congress in 1879. This act is a means for providing adapted educational materials to eligible students who meet the definition of blindness. An annual registration of eligible students determines a per capita amount of money designated for the purchase of educational materials produced by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). These funds are credited to Federal Quota accounts which are maintained and administered by APH and its Ex Officio Trustees throughout the country. Find out more: www.aph.org/federal-quota/

The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, call (502) 895-2405 or log on to www.aph.org.

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