Talking Books is a FREE audiobook and Braille library for people who cannot read standard sized print for long periods of time comfortably. We serve students who are legally blind, visually impaired, physically handicapped, and, in medically documented cases, reading disabilities. And when we say our service is free, we really mean our service is free, free, FREE. We provide each and every one of our users with a free audio book player that is required to play our specially formatted audio books (which help keep the service free), and we provide free replacement and repair of our players. We send you books through the mail for free, and you mail the books back to us for free (each comes with a pre-paid return mailing card). You can also download as many of our digital audio and electronic Braille books and magazines as you want for free. Our service truly is free in every meaningful sense of the word.
All you need to do to register with our library is:
1) Qualify under one of the following:
a. Legally Blind – persons whose visual acuity, as determined by a competent authority (see 2d), is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees
b. Visually Disabled – persons who need aids stronger than regular reading glasses for reading standard printed materials (i.e. macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, etc)
c. Physically Disabled – persons unable to read or unable to use standard printed materials as a result of physical limitations (i.e. muscular sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson’s, paraplegia, traumatic brain injury, etc)
e. Reading Disabled – persons having a reading disability (i.e. neurological dyslexia) resulting from an organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent them from reading standard printed materials in a normal manner
2) Fill out our student application. This application is the only paperwork we require in order to register a student. We do not require any additional notes or letters from doctors listing a specific diagnosis, proofs of legal blindness from the Oregon Commission for the Blind or your local ESD, or any other additional paperwork.
a. Page 1 of the application just asks for the student’s name, mailing addresses (so we know where to mail the books to), and their phone number (so we can contact you if there is a problem). If need be, we gladly mail books to addresses other than a student’s residence if friends, family members, or teachers prefer to handle mail for them.
b. Page 2 asks what types of books the student would like to receive. Feel free to mark as many or as few subject preferences as you want, and please use the margins or the space provided below the subject list to indicate any special interests or sub-genre preferences. Just know that the more areas of interest marked, the broader and more general the pool of books our computer system has to choose from to send you.
c. Page 3 asks if the student would be interested in any of the additional services or accessories we provide. These services and accessories are in addition to our core service of mailing books to you, and all are free, though for some there are stipulations regarding who is eligible to receive them (especially in the case of some of our accessories). Click here to view an online version of the application insert describing our additional services that usually comes with copies of the application we send through the mail.
d. Page 4 is the Certification of Eligibility page. Here you will need to have a doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, ophthalmologist, optometrist, professional librarian (MLS or MLIS), nurse, therapist, or other professional staff of a hospital, institution, or social welfare agency sign the application certifying the student’s eligibility for our library. NOTE: in the case of Reading Disabled, the application MUST and CAN ONLY be signed by a doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathy (DO). Reading disabilities must be medically diagnosed.
3) Return the completed application back to us. You can mail it, fax it, or scan/email it back in. Once we receive the application, we will make a confirmation call to verify information, and then the student’s account is usually set up within 1-2 business days. The student’s player and first couple of books go out the next business day following the creation of their new account. There are instances were the process can take longer (especially around holidays), but we endeavor to meet this standard as often as possible.
A Copy of our student application can be downloaded by clicking either of the links below. There is space for a home and school address. Please indicate which address we should use as the mailing address (this selection can be changed for summer and winter breaks).
Student Application: Word, PDF
Thank you very much for your interest in our services. Please contact us at 800-452-0292 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or require any clarification.