SUMMARY - sending FREE Matter For The Blind
The U.S.P.S. Web Site
for the complete text.
Matter for the Blind must be submitted to the USPS unsealed, and marked "Matter for the Blind or Handicapped" in the upper right corner of the envelope.
Matter may be sent free of charge 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. This includes:
- Reading matter in Braille or 14-point or larger type.
- Letters must be sent by a blind or handicapped person, and must be sent unsealed (not padlocked).
- Sound reproductions and musical scores.
- Paper, records, tapes and other material for the production of reading matter, musical scores, or sound reproductions.
- Braille writers, typewriters, educational or other devices designed or adapted for eligible persons.
- The only extra service available with matter for the blind is insurance. The insurance fee is not free, and must be paid by the sender.
- Must meet all appropriate size and weight standards.
- Either no charge, rental, subscription, or other fee is required for this matter; or, if required, may not exceed the price of the item.
Matter for the Blind does not include:
- Letters prepared by sighted individuals cannot be sent free to blind individuals.
- Hand written letters, or letters printed or typed in font smaller than 14-point may not be sent free.
- Any item with a charge, rental, subscription, or other fee that exceeds the actual price of the item.
- Insurance is the only domestic extra service available and must be paid for by the sender.
- Matter for the blind may be mailed to both domestic (including APO/FPO) and international destinations.
- The matter may be opened and inspected by the United States Postal Service.
- It is not considered part of any particular class of mail.
- However, it is treated as First-Class Mail items for the exclusive purposes of determining appropriate standards for processing.
- No form is needed, but Postmasters may require evidence of eligibility from a certified authority.
Handling of Forwarded or Undeliverable "Matter for the Blind":
- "Matter for the Blind" is forwarded free of charge (both Domestic and International).
- Undeliverable "Matter for the Blind" is returned to the sender free of charge.
- Weight limit of fifteen pounds or less.
- Matter for the blind is free if sent First Class Mail International. (The word "Free" must be placed in the upper-right corner, immediately above the words "Matter for the Blind.")
- Includes books, periodicals and other matter impressed in Braille. (Also includes embossing plates for literature for the blind; discs, tapes and special paper sent by or addressed to an officially recognized institution for the blind and sound recordings mailed by a blind person).
- The officially recognized institution for the blind must appear in the address or the return address for the following items:
- Disks, tapes, or wires bearing voice recordings.
- Special paper intended solely for the use of the blind.
- Matter for the blind must not be sealed, even if registered.
NOTE: Contact your local Post Office with any further questions.
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