Questions And Answers

Blind man with white cane

Blindness can happen to anyone through accident or illness, but most blind persons are able to lead useful and independent lives. When you meet a Blind Person, don't be ill at ease. It will help if you remember these simple rules of courtesy as suggested by the blind, themselves.

  • I am a normal person who happens to be blind.  Treat me as you do any acquaintence.
  • Speak to me in normal tones.  Don't as my companion, "Does he or she take cream in his coffee?"  Ask me directly.
  • I can walk more easily with you than with a dog or a cane.  Don't pull my arm, but let me take yours.
  • A person with a white cane has the legal right-of-way crossing a street.  When driving a car, always stop for a person with a white cane.
  • When I enter a bus don't leave me standing at the door, but offer to guide me to a seat.
  • When in a restaurant with me, please read the menu to me.
  • When handing money to me, separate the bills into denominations and identify them for me.
  • When entering the same room or area where I am, please identify yourself and others with you. 
  • When introducing me to another person, please indicate his location.
  • An open door of a room or a car is a hazard for me.  So are toys on the floor.
  • Whenever you meet a blind person with a guide dog, be sure to explain to any children nearby that the dog is a working dog and should not be distracted by petting.
  • When dining, I will tell you how I am accustomed to having things arranged, and I may need help to cut my meat.  Please tell me where my napkin and  glass is and locaiton of food on my plate.
  • I will discuss blindness with you if you're curious, but I have as many other instrests as you.  Radio broadcasts, braille materials, talking books, and yes, even TV keep me generally well informed, but I depend upon otehr people for further information.

"How to Approach A Guide Dog Team"

A TEAM consists of a guide dog and its owner.

When a guide dog is in harness, it is at "WORK" and is responsible for guiding its owner and should not be distracted.

Here are some hints on what to do (and NOT do) when you come across a guide dog team.

Always greet the owner first.  Whatever side the guide dog is on, approach from the other side. Do not make eye contact with the guide dog.

Do not approach or call out to a team while it is in the middle of a task.

Do not pet a guide dog without asking the owner's permission. The dog should not be petted in harness.  Do not get your feelings hurt if the owner says 'NO'.

Do not call out or whistle at a guide dog.  The owner's safety is dependent on the guide dog maintaining focus.

Do not allow your pet to come near a guide dog team.  Always keep your pet on a leash.  And please let me know if there is another animal in the area.

Do not feel or offer the guide dog food or treats.  Guide dogs are fed on a schedule that is strictly maintained.  Because they often visit restaurants and grocery stores, they are trained to ignore food.

Please do not be afraid to ask questions, it is how we learn.  Be kind and courteous and let's enjoy each other's company. 

This page will be used to give you links to additional web sites, that will help you along the path to find the information you may be seeking. 

If a link does not work, please search the web for information you are looking for, or contact our Office 330-453-9157, we may have other information or could assist in a search.


  •   -  National Federation of the Blind
  •  -  American Council of the Blind
  •  -  American Foundation for the Blind







Visual Aids for Sale

We have a small show case of items for the Blind and Visually Impaired

It includes, but not limited to:

  • Talking Watches
  • Talking Clocks
  • Braille Paper, Slate & Stylus
  • Raised line paper
  • 20/20 pens (felt markers)
  • Check guides and signature guides
  • Large Print Calendars

Can't find what you need?  We have a couple catalogs that you can order from. 

Now accepting PayPal.

AND, through the generosity of others, we also have available a free loan program of CCTV's (closed circuit televisions)  A CCTV is a magnification system, a self contained unit which allows the user to magnify the item they are wishing to read onto a television or monitor to the size they need to be able to read it comfortably.  The CCTV's we have available, have been donated to the Philomatheon Society and we loan them out to individuals in need.  This is first come, first serve basis.

Talking Book Items


The Philomatheon Society of the Blind is the sub-lending agency for the Talking Book Program which serves three counties and over 1,500 patrons.                

The Talking Book Program is a government program that is ran by The National Library Service (NLS), part of the Library of Congress (LOC), which produces recorded books and magazines, braille books, and all the equipment needed for listening.

People with visual or physical handicaps can still enjoy reading through The Talking Book Program.  Talking books are available on loan to eligible readers across the country. The Philomatheon Society serves the counties of *Stark, Tuscarawas,* Harrison, Holmes and Carroll counties.

*The Stark County Library and Tuscarawas County Library are now the sub-lending agencies for the program in their counties, BUT, The Philomatheon Society is still available to serve ALL with their talking book needs, no matter where you are from*.

Talking Books and magazines are narrated by professionals and produced on digital cartridges.  Our society loans the digital  player to the eligible patron and the books come from The Ohio Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled(OLBPD) at The Cleveland Public Library.

The talking-book program serves readers of all ages. Older adults are a big part of that group. Of the 30 million Americans over sixty-five, many are temporarily or permanently unable to read standard print due to visual loss.

What kinds of books can I get?
More than 67,000 biographies, bestsellers classics , mysteries, romances , westerns, poetry books, histories, children’s and how-to books are available. Music materials, bibliographies, catalogs, and some foreign-language titles are also circulated to eligible readers. Titles on health and fitness for seniors as well as books on retirement activities and the rights of older adults may also be borrowed.  You are also eligible to loan Described Movies from OLBPD. (Described movies have a narrator who will describe the scenes to you. Many newer movies have this feature available, check your language settings on your DVD player to see if the movie has the "Described Video" selection.)

How do I get them?
Your books will come directly from The Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled at the Cleveland Public Library on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. You can participate directly from your home by postage-free mail. Books and equipment are all loaned free, and you will also receive a free bimonthly catalog of new titles. You can choose your own books or let the library pick for you.

How do I apply?  Call our office at (330)-453-9157 for more information or an application

State Library of Ohio (Columbus) 614-644-6895 or 800-686-1531

Ohio Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled (Cleveland) 216-623-2911 or 800-362-1261


BARD is a free service, once a patron, you can sign up for BARD and download your own books and/or magazines on a digital cartridge for flash drive to use in your book player.  Contact the OLBPD to sign up for a BARD Account.

The Society or OLBPD can assist you in downloading books.  The Philomatheon Society has blank cartridges and mailers for $12.00, they are  4GB and can hold many books. 

You can also get BARD MOBILE on your Apple or Android device.  This makes taking your book on the go, very easy and accessible.