15. There’s a Braille Library in Chelsea
Skirting the eastern edge of Chelsea is the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, which has one of the largest openly browsable circulating Braille collections in the United States. It was founded in 1895 as the New York Free Circulating Library for the Blind, and it was renamed in 1991 in honor of former chairman and CEO of Time Inc., known for his philanthropy for organizations including the New York Public Library. It is one of the city’s only places where blind or hard of seeing people can sift through new releases, magazines, maps, and artworks.
According to NYC Go, the institution had 13,160 Braille titles, 33,636 books on digital cartridge and 1,970 large-print books as of 2017. The library has hosted twice-weekly Braille study groups, book club meetings, creative writing workshops, and performances by the New York Opera Forum, with large-print and Braille plot summaries supplied. Every computer in the library is equipped with screen-reading programs for navigating the web or performing other tech tasks. Visitors who come from all over the country can learn more about getting around in the city from resources such as Braille maps.