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Letter from U.S. Congresswoman Ruth Pratt to Helen Keller in Forest Hills, thanking Keller for a telegram congratulating Pratt on the passage of an appropriation bill for Talking Books, March 3, 1931.

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Developing Partnerships
Pratt-Smoot Act: That All May Read

In 1930 congressional representatives Ruth Baker Pratt and Reed Smoot introduced a bill requesting funds to produce books for adults who were blind. The Libary of Congress would administer the project. AFB lobbied in support of this bill, and Helen Keller, employed by AFB, spoke to the House of Representatives in Washington D.C. on March 27, 1930:

... Books are the eyes of the blind. They reveal to us the glories of the light-filled world, they keep us in touch with what people are thinking and doing, they help us to forget our limitations. With our hands plunged into an interesting book, we feel independent and happy.

... What you would not give to be able to read again! Wouldn't you give anything in the world for something to make you forget your misfortune for one hour? This bill affords you an opportunity to bestow this consolation upon thousands of blind men and women in the United States ...

The Pratt-Smoot Act became law in March 1931.


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Pratt-Smoot Act: That All May Read
The Library of Congress
Solely for the Use of the Blind


AFB Talking Book Galleries:
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Early History
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Partnerships
Helen Keller
Helen Keller
Operations Begin
Operations Begin
Technology
Technology
Narrators
Narrators

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75 Years of AFB and Talking Books

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