The Talking Book Program

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, administers a program for individuals who are visually impaired or have a disability that prevents them from using regular print materials, "The Talking Book Program." They have twenty-five thousand audio books available. The "books" are USB flash-drive cartridges that easily get inserted into the Talking Book machine. Each cartridge is an audio book.

This is an incredible program for low vision patients who were readers. We recently finished working with a patient whose daughter told us the Talking Book Program totally changed her mother's life. Instead of being bored all day, she listens to five books a week. Because the machine is the size of a small shoe box, it is very portable. Patients take it with them and listen to books using headphones wherever they go. Instead of simply waiting for their appointments with nothing to do, they listen to their favorite books. The program is FREE and all materials are sent to subscribers by the U.S. mail. Virtually all low vision patients are eligible and Visions of Independence is authorized to enroll new subscribers.

The Talking Book Program really does change the lives of low vision patients who are readers. It opens up a world that had been closed to them since their vision loss.