Library For Blind and Print-Challenged Bookworms

Do you love to read but have trouble with standard print? Do you have physical problems that make holding a standard or larger book difficult or impossible? This library is for you.

I first learned about the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLSBP) after that near-fatal encounter with a drunk driver. Being left almost totally blind robbed me of my ability to read print of any size. I was going crazy from boredom! I wish I could remember who first mentioned this special library so I could thank them. This service has once again opened the world of books to me.

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The NLSBP loans reading matter in Braille and audio format to eligible US citizens of all ages, both Stateside and abroad. Of course, they also provide the equipment. I have both a digital Talking Book machine (DTBM) and a C1-style cassette Talking Book player. (I tried the EZ style, but the C1 wasn't hard to learn and works better.) Both styles of reading machine come with instructions. The digital player's instructions are built in, the cassette machine's instructions are included in cassette format with every machine. Both machine styles are mine on permanent loan. If something goes wrong, I just contact the library and they send me a new machine.

All items are sent free for the blind or physically handicapped. I receive mine from my closest cooperating library, which is located in Cleveland, Ohio. However, there are cooperating libraries nationwide. To speak to a librarian in your service area during normal business hours, call 1-888-NLS-READ (toll free.)

Here's the link to the NLSBP home page. The phone number above, I located by scrolling to the line that reads "for more information, press enter" and then I hit enter, lol!

And here's the page where you can learn who's eligible:

Once you're determined eligible, you can branch out. I download some books from my Cleveland Library catalog website, and some from the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website. I also download my fave magazine, Reader's Digest, free from the American Printinghouse for the Blind (APH) website. Hope I'm not overwhelming you with information. Happy reading!

By JustPlainJo from Springfield, Ohio

July 20, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you so much Jo. Even if this information is not for me (yet), I know others who can use it and will be so happy to get it. It's a whole different world out there for those who were born sighted, then lost their sight due to an accident or through a disease. I can only imagine just how different it would be for me. I would be so lost if I couldn't read. Thank you again.

You'll be getting my vote.

Pookarina

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July 20, 20110 found this helpful

You got my vote! Thank you for all the information that you gave. I'm sure it will help alot of people. We take so much for granted, until we are in danger of losing them. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't read. Thanks again.

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July 23, 20110 found this helpful

Great post, Jo. My sister-in-law, who is blind, uses these. She passed the information on to my mom when she developed macular degeneration. Mom has gone through the whole New Testament of the Bible using these. She's also been able to "read" other books. Thanks for posting this information for others might be able to use it, or who know people who can take advantage of them. And, by the way, the selection is enormous, something for everyone.

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July 27, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you for the feedback so far! A longtime, visually impaired friend has already called me to say he's getting himself registered for Talking Books... that makes my day. :D

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May 21, 20140 found this helpful

I live in CA and there is a progam called CTAP-Calif Telephone Access Program that provides whatever equipment a person might need to be able to utilize the phone. This can range from a phone with large buttons, a phone on which you can adjust the volume or shut off the ringer or even a TTy or TTD equipment for a deaf person. Even a regular cordless phone if you are someone who can't get to the ringing phone quickly enough All free. I would think that other states would have a similar program.

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