Questions and Answers

What kind of resources does Optasia Ministry offer?
We focus on materials that can be fruitfully used by ministry personnel - commentaries, tools for language study, theology and liturgical resources, etc. We also have Bibles and devotional resources that will be helpful to anyone wishing to enhance their study of the Bible, and grow in their faith.

How much does it cost to receive Optasia Ministry resources?
We do not charge a fee for our services. However, because there is always some cost in producing and sending materials out, we would be thankful for your donation to help defray expenses.
All our time is donated to the ministry, so donations go directly to building the library and maintaining equipment.
Your donations, of whatever size, are important to continuing this service.

Does Optasia Ministry accept other donations?
We are always looking for donations of books that can be added to our library - the kind of books that will benefit those who wish to study the Bible and serve as leaders in Christ's church, such as commentaries and other Bible study resources. (We reserve the right to decide which resources we will include in our library.)
As an IRS approved nonprofit corporation we also welcome financial contributions and will provide a receipt to the giver.

How can Optasia Ministry reproduce copyrighted material?
The Chafee Amendment to the U.S. Copyright code allows a nonprofit organization, whose primary purpose is to serve the needs of those with visual disabilities, to produce this material in an alternative format (but not large print). We have chosen to limit ourselves to materials in digital format that can be effectively used by blind computer users who have screen reading software.

Who may receive materials from Optasia Ministry?
Because we are operating under the Chafee Amendment of the U.S. Copyright code only those who have a visual disability or some other disability that necessitates use of materials in alternative format may receive our resources. We require that our users affirm their disability and thus their eligibility to receive materials from us by sending us a statement of disability.

May users share material with others?
No. According to the law, users may not even share with other persons with visual disabilities. We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that we can legally distribute this material to users who qualify for our services. According to the law, this can be done only by a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to serve the needs of the blind and those with other disabilities. However, please direct qualifying persons to us and we will be glad to serve them.

Can Optasia Ministry distribute resources outside the United States?
the Chafee Amendment specifically limits our service to activity in the United States and its territories.
However, several publishers have granted Optasia Ministry permission to distribute their materials internationally. This includes a substantial part of the Optasia Library. Requests from outside the United States will be supplied with the Optasia International Library. On our resources page the books which are included in the international library are marked with *.

In what kind of formats are these resources?
We provide most of our documents in RTF and txt formats to make them available to as wide a variety of computer users as possible. Optasia formatted Bible versions are available in HTML, rtf or BRL format.

How will resources be made available to those requesting them?
For those who wish to receive the entire Optasia Library, we will send out a set of DVD's disks with our entire library. Please send us your mailing address.
For those who wish to have only a Bible version, for example, we will meet specific requests. Some Bibles can be emailed. For larger files we use one of the online services for sending large files.
The library is too large to be downloaded in its entirety, and because, by law, we must restrict who receives this material, downloads from our website are not available.

What versions of the Bible are available?
We provide 27 popular Bible versions in a form that works well on a desktop computer or a Braille notetaker. We have tested it extensively on a PC, a Mac and a PAC Mate (Freedom Scientific).
Please check the Library page to identify the specific versions available.
We offer all the same versions in html format, a form which works well with the Victor Stream Reader.
The same versions are available in RTF and BRL format.
Seventeen of these versions are also provided in a single package, the Optasia Bible Library. Users can easily compare readings among the versions in the Collection by entering on a link.
We offer a couple study Bibles, Catholic Bibles and several Spanish and German Bibles.
A few other Bibles are available upon request. See the Optasia Library for a complete list.

What is the quality of the offered text?
Anyone who works with scanners knows that errors and extra characters creep in during the scanning process. However, we have found that what we offer is very readable, and allows users to access the available material in a very helpful way. If our users find crucial portions of the text that are not readable, we will make every effort to correct the errors.
We are thankful to several publishers for providing us with a number of books. These will be free of the errors due to scanning. Since the Bible versions are received from downloaded text, these are as accurate as the original source. Many books have been received in electronic format and will be free of scanning errors.

What happens to Greek and Hebrew text in the scanning process?
Greek and Hebrew text cannot be recognized by the scanning process available to us. Such text will turn into gibberish. We have, however, concentrated on materials that will allow serious students of Scripture to access some material that is rarely available to those with visual disabilities. Note in the library listing we offer the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, as well as the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Because these books use transliterated text, and because of the form in which we offer it, we believe our users can gain great benefit from these resources as they do biblical studies. In addition some generous individuals have supplied us with Hebrew and Greek resources which can be used by those who know these languages.
There are several Hebrew and Greek resources that blind persons will be able to access in the Optasia Library, enabling them to read the biblical text, and explore such resources as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

What if parts of the resources are not legible?
Please contact us if you are unable to understand or read portions of the material. We will make every effort to correct significant problems in our offered materials.

Will the Optasia library continue to grow?
We will continue to add resources to our library and invite our users to send us commentaries and other ministry resources that we can add, and share with others. Some materials already in our library will continue to be edited.
We reserve the right to decide what will be added to our list of resources.
When significant updates are made to our library we are willing to send a new version of the library to those who have already received it. Ordinarily we will send out the updated library once a year.
Check out our What's New? Page to see some of the major changes to the library.

What do I need to do to receive resources from Optasia Ministry?
Send us your name and contact information along with a statement affirming that you have a visual disability that necessitates the use of the alternative format resources that Optasia Ministry offers.
Use this contact link
We will need your name and mailing address. We normally mail out the library on a pair of DVD's. For those who do not have a DVD drive on their computer we will send the library on a USB thumb drive.

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