Customer Support Ruling
Eligibility of Blind and Other Handicapped Persons
This CSR defines persons who are eligible for Free Matter for the Blind and Other Physically Handicapped Persons mailing privileges.
The laws controlling the materials which may be mailed for the use of and by blind and other handicapped persons and the conditions under which these items may be mailed, are contained in the United States Code, Title 39, sections 3402, 3403 and 3404. These laws are carried forth by the Postal Service as Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 703.5. The following persons are eligible for the free mailing privileges:
1. Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or those whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no more than 20 degrees.
2. Persons whose visual disability with correction and regardless of optical measurement are certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed materials.
3. Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitation.
4. Persons certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.
In cases of blindness, visual disability or physical limitations "competent authority" is defined to include doctors of medicine, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions and public or welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, home teachers and superintendents). In the case of reading disability from organic dysfunction, competent authority is defined as doctors of medicine who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines.
Anita J. Bizzotto
Headquarters, US Postal Service
Washington, DC 20260-3436