A Promising Practice: The Job Line of the National Federation of the Blind and the Department of Labor
The Department of Labor provided a grant to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to develop "Job Line," a toll-free telephone access service that enables one-stop shopping for America's Job Bank and participating state job banks through the telephone, providing an alternative to the use of computers and the Internet. Job Line is designed to provide audible access rather than visual access for people with low vision or those who are blind, and to provide convenient and easy-to-use access to people who do not have a computer or cannot use standard computers. Job Line is available 24 hours a day and provides job announcements in a synthetic speech format. Callers are able to create and store personal job profiles and have the option of retrieving only the new and relevant job listings fitting the caller's search criteria. Callers are able to access "hot topics" channels that will provide customized job training and employment information and other types of notices. Users of the system can select one of nine different voices available and can also adjust the speaking rate. The voice selection and speaking rate chosen can be stored as part of the user's personal profile and reactivated each time the user enters the system. The user can obtain on-line help in the form of context-sensitive help information at any time during a job search or when entering a personal profile. Training in the use of the system and technical assistance to participating agencies and entities is provided by NFB. A short demonstration is available by calling 410- 539-0818. More information is available on the National Federation of the Blind's Internet site (http://www.nfb.org).