The Talking Book Library Changes Lives for the Vision Impaired

Talking Book Library devicesThe Talking Book Library changes lives for the vision impaired. I know. My father-in-law moved in with us at Christmas and we had no idea how much vision he had lost. Just as he is adjusting to the condition of “legally blind,” we are searching out resources to help improve his quality of life. One of the biggest casualties of losing his vision was his ability to read and enjoy books.

The Arizona Talking Book Library
Arizona braille and Talking Book Library

I first learned about the Arizona Talking Book library when they produced my book, Henry, for their collection in 2018. I visited the recording studio, met the staff, and came away thoroughly impressed with their professionalism and commitment to their mission. Now a close family member is a direct beneficiary of their wonderful service, so I see exactly how it works. Count me a fan.

It can take time to accept vision loss…. and help

I had suggested the service to my father-in-law on multiple occasions and was always met with a flat “No.” Finally, due to a recent health crisis, he has to make many lifestyle changes. He is learning there are solutions for many of his vision challenges. He smiles more, and wants to live longer now that he is more capable of enjoying the same things he used to, if with modifications.

The program was established by an Act of Congress in 1931

Championed by Helen Keller, the program was established by an Act of Congress in 1931 to serve blind adults. The program was expanded in 1952 to include children, in 1962 to provide music materials, in 1966 to include individuals with other physical disabilities that prevent reading regular print. More information is on their website, link below. Most states have a local branch.

Please share this valuable resource with any vision impaired or reading challenged individual

For authors, this service exists under a very narrow copyright exception, yet for a very good purpose. If you know anyone who could benefit from this service, please spread the word. Any US citizen who qualifies and is accepted has access to any book in the entire national collection. Key links are below.

No one should be deprived of the ability to read and enjoy a good book. Thank you again, to the Talking Book Library.

Happy reading, no matter what media you use: Print, electronic, audio, or talking book.

Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

Arizona Talking Book Library, a division of Arizona State Library, Archives, & Public Records

Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Veterans (through the Veterans Administration)


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Tags: Commentary, Literacy and Books

2 Comments. Leave new

  • WONDERFUL!! I used to have a neighbor who was blind and we told her about audio books BUT she could not see to turn off the very small device, could not see to choose a book and other things. This service is INCREDIBLY great for blind people and others with special needs. Thank you so much katrina!


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