From USPS News Link:
When Alabama District Consumer and Industry Affairs Manager April Williams received an inquiry about using Priority Mail boxes to ship free matter for the blind, she turned to Birmingham, AL, Postal Inspector Tony Robinson for clarification.
Robinson reviewed practices of a local school for the blind and affirmed that Priority Mail may not be used to ship free matter for the blind. He identified losses of more than $100,000 in just one year of its mailings. Worse, he found the school had followed these practices for decades, resulting in millions of dollars in postage losses.
In a single day, Robinson identified 180 pieces — representing postage of more than $14,600 — that failed to qualify for free mailing. Williams and Robinson now are sharing their findings with other districts, encouraging similar investigations.
“I’m very proud of this revenue-protection and loss-prevention effort,” said Williams. “It ultimately means money in the bank for the Postal Service.”
If a school for the blind sends Braille supplies via international mail, and uses free matter for the blind instead of postage, the parcel must be addressed to a U.S. citizen domiciled abroad and must be for that citizen’s use, or a dependent. If the school sends supplies overseas to a national resident or a foreign institution, postage is to be paid.
Braille typewriters can be mailed by schools and by the blind for free, including to repair shops. However, if the repair shop is making a profit repairing the machines, the shop must pay postage to return the machine. If schools mail supplies or equipment, the supplies must be specifically tailored or retrofitted for use by the blind or handicapped.
More information on policies for free matter for the blind is in Section 703 of the Domestic Mail Manual and Section 270 of the International Mail Manual. Or, call the Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 (press 5).
Read more: USPS News Link Story – Money in the bank.