Eligibility of Blind or Other Handicapped
This Customer Support Ruling 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:
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.
whose visual disability with correction and regardless of optical
measurement are certified by competent authority as preventing the
reading of standard printed materials.
certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use
standard printed material as a result of physical limitation.
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
Anita J. Bizzotto
United States Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436