National Park Debuts Audio Brochure for Visually Impaired Visitors

by Samantha Whidden

The Indiana Dunes National Park recently unveiled new audio brochures that are specifically for visually impaired visitors.

According to the National Park website, the new park brochure is available in a variety of formats including paper, audio description, Braille, or text-only. The brochure also explores the history of the park, some of its highlights. It even has information for planning a visit. “This version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Indiana Dunes visitors receive.”

The park also announced the new brochure last month on Instagram. The audio description is available by visiting the Audio Described Brochure webpage on the park’s website. Users may also download the UniDescription mobile app on both Apple and Android devices.

The Indiana Dunes explains that the project is through an effort of local and other park employees. One of which is legally blind. They also had the from a fully blind and experienced volunteer. The volunteer has also helped with other national parks’ audio-described brochures. 

The park also adds, “The park employees were trained under the National Park Service’s Descriptathon program. Which helped give them the writing tools and database needed to make this possible. It was the 8th installment of the Desriptathon program, run by UniD.”

Meanwhile, the Park explains that the brochure’s audio version lasts about 1 hour and 14 minutes. There are 34 sections in the audio version as a way to improve the listening experience. Section 1 covers an introduction of the Indiana Dunes National Park. The other sections cover various things about the park, including the history, the actual park map, and more.

Indiana Dunes National Park Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Through Food Drive 

Meanwhile, the Indiana Dunes National Park is celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. through a new food drive. The park stated that in most years, it has offered a program and volunteer project or the upcoming Martin Luther King Holiday.

Unfortunately, the global health crisis is making an indoor program and project unadvisable. Instead, the park is now asking volunteers to bring in canned and other non-perishable foods to the parking lot of the Paul H. Douglas Center or the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center on January 15th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

The park also notes that volunteers will be in the parking lot at both locations, so those donating do not have to even get out of their car to donate. Everything collected will be distributed through area food banks.  The Paul H Douglas Center is located at 100 North Lake Street in the Miller neighborhood of Gary and the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center is at 1215 N. State Road 49, in Porter, Indiana.