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Materials for the Blind and Deaf

This page contains the following articles:

Materials for the Blind
Materials for the Deaf


In 1941, Helen Keller was given a Braille copy of the Book of Mormon by President Heber J. Grant in the president's office. The Church produces a wide variety of materials for the blind. Courtesy University of Utah.

Materials for the Blind

by Josiah W. Douglas

During his earthly ministry, Jesus was always sensitive to individuals and their personal needs. He paid particular attention to those with handicaps and healed many of their infirmities (e.g., Matt. 11:5). Today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches similar sensitivity to people with special needs.

Since 1904, the Church has produced gospel materials for the blind and the visually impaired, and now all such people may obtain these materials in a wide variety of helpful formats.

Access to printed material is often inadequate for the visually impaired. To help overcome this lack, the Church produces materials on audiocassettes, in Braille, and in large-print versions. Audiocassettes are available at both standard and half-speed. Half-speed cassettes require the type of slow-speed cassette player that the Library of Congress lends to visually impaired persons in the United States.

The Church provides the scriptures on audiocassettes, in large type, in Braille and it also produces courses of study and selected Church books in Braille and on audiocassettes. The words to Church hymns are available in Braille and on recordings.

The Ensign magazine and selections from the New Era and Friend magazines are recorded on half-speed, four-track audiocassettes each month and mailed as the Ensign Talking Book to several thousand subscribers worldwide. The First Presidency Message and the Friend are also produced in Braille each month.

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Deaf, Materials for

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company


Materials for the Deaf

by Douglas L. Hind

The Church makes a serious effort to serve the hearing impaired with gospel materials in formats they can understand. These formats include simplified versions, signed inserts (interpreters superimposed on film who sign conversations and sounds), closed captions (words that show on the screen only when decoded), printed signs, productions with all-deaf casts, and Church manuals translated into signing for the deaf on videocassettes. Each Church film is signed or closed-captioned. All satellite broadcasts and special programs are closed-captioned. To use closed-captioned videos requires a decoder, which the Church provides to units serving the hearing impaired.

All General Conference sessions are signed and closed-captioned. The deaf and hearing impaired who attend General Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, are invited to the Church Office's auditorium to view the proceedings with an interpreter. Those who do not attend in person may participate via closed captions on the Church's satellite network at their local meetinghouses. The sessions are also recorded on videos, with sign language inserts, and made available on loan. Temple ordinances are also presented in formats understandable by the hearing impaired.

A handbook for interpreters and a dictionary of words and phrases peculiar to the Church are available in print and on videocassettes. The Book of Mormon is being translated into American Sign Language (ASL) on videocassette targeted for completion in 1994. A current list of all materials, including their costs and how to order, is available on request from the Special Curriculum Department of the Church.

In a meetinghouse serving the hearing impaired, the Church provides a Com Tek System which amplifies the spoken language. The Church participates in supplying TTY/TDDs (telecommunication devices) for the deaf and hearing-impaired members to carry on Church functions.

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Deaf, Materials for

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company

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