Christian Record Services for the Blind, a nonprofit organization located in Lincoln, Nebraska, has been empowering individuals who are blind and visually impaired by providing free and accessible faith-based services since 1899. CRS makes a significant impact in the lives of its members through offering access to Braille materials, audio books, large-print magazines, Bibles and more that will enhance the life and spiritual journey of others.
“With the Lord’s guidance, it is the members, donors, volunteers, and employees who have made Christian Record impactful all of these years,” said Diane Thurber, president of Christian Record. “To all of you, we say a hearty ‘thank you.’ And we invite those who are just now learning about who we are and what we do to join our community. You’ll be in great company!”
At the very beginning, Christian Record was the name of our Braille magazine. It was the only Christian‐focused Braille magazine published in 1899. The name carried over to the nonprofit organization that now also provides many services for the blind along with its magazines (and, yes, we still publish the Christian Record in Braille).
Christian Record led the way for many other innovations and services that together inspire and transform lives. We were the first organization to offer a blind camp, beginning in the 1960s. The camps give individuals an opportunity to be themselves and freely create and engage with the community. A couple of decades later we were the first to pioneer a new kind of book that provides Braille along with images, print, and an audio disc for the entire family to enjoy.
Today, Christian Record is still continually looking for the best way to serve its members. In 2017, we launched our online library of nearly 2,000 titles. Members can request many of these titles in formats specifically for them, including refreshable Braille, large print, audio streaming and downloading, and on National Library Service’s digital cartridges. Through this system our members can request Bibles, select the next books they wish to read or listen to, and much more.
In addition, in collaboration with the Voice of Prophecy, in Loveland, Colorado, Christian Record also has available the new Discover Bible Study Guides in large print and Braille for people who are legally blind. “I am excited that local congregations can now offer Discover in accessible formats for their members to use in outreach,” said Richard Clark Jr., the Bible School coordinator at Christian Record. “The large print and Braille formats will empower members who are legally blind with a convenient way to lead Bible studies.”
Since the 1980s, Christian Record has awarded college scholarships to blind students who demonstrate academic promise. The program was initially endowed by a former employee and continues to grow through gifts by people interested in the program. In 2018, a total of eight scholarships were awarded.
For more information on CRS, please visit www.christianrecord.org or call 402.488.0981.