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I recently acquired a new friend who is blind and would like to send her audio tapes. She lives in Japan and told me that I can send her mail from the US free of charge if I write "Free matter for the blind" on the envelope. I mentioned this to my post office and they have never heard of this. Has anyone else used this service?
270 Free Matter for the Blind or Other Physically Handicapped Persons
Subject to the standards below and DMM 703, matter may be entered free of postage if mailed by or for the use of blind or other persons who cannot read or use conventionally printed materials due to a physical handicap. Matter for the blind in international mail is limited to the following:
Eligible participants must be residents of the United States, including the several states, territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia, or American citizens domiciled abroad.271.3 Matter Sent to or by Blind or Other Physically Handicapped Persons
Acceptable matter and the conditions for mailing such matter that may be sent free under this standard are limited to the items described in 271 and DMM 703.
I think everyone overlooked the most important clause:
Discs, tapes, or wires bearing voice recordings and special paper intended solely for the use of the blind, provided they are sent by or addressed to an officially recognized institution for the blind.
I asked my PO about this a long time ago, when I lived in a town with a school for the blind. You can't send items by way of Matters for the Blind, unless you are sending them to an institution for the blind. You could send your friend talking books (CD, tape, etc), if your friend can go to one of these instiution to pick up her mail, but you can't send them to her home address.