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Registering with Talking Books


The Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library is a FREE audiobook and Braille library service for people who cannot read standard sized print for long periods of time comfortably.  Most of our users are people with visual disabilities, including (but not limited to): macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and total blindness.  However, we also serve a number of people with physical disabilities like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, the aftereffects of a stroke, paraplegia, and people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury.  There is even a special designation for people who have reading disabilities such as neurological dyslexia.
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 patrons 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 (no subscription fees, no late fees, no fees at all), 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, and gain access to NFB-Newsline for free.  There is no billing to insurance or Medicare, no annual reapplication process, and no limit to the number of books you can borrow a year.  Our service is free to you in every meaningful sense of the word.
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All you need to do to register for our service 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)
d.  Deaf-Blindness
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 one of our applications.  Our application is the only paperwork we require in order to register a new user with our library.  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 any other additional paperwork.  Keeping the paperwork down helps keep your private information private.
a.  Page one of the application just asks for the new user’s name, mailing address (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 user’s residence if friends or family members prefer to handle mail for the user.
b.  Page two asks what types of books the new user 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 three asks if the new user 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 mail to interested people.
d.  Page four 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 certifyingyour eligibility for the program.  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, fax, or scan/email your completed application Our information is on the left side of page one.  Once we receive the application back, we will make a confirmation call to verify information, and then the new user’s account is usually set up within 1-2 business days.  A new user’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.
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Copies of our application for downloading and printing can be found below. Each application is available as a MS Word document or as a PDF.

Patron ApplicationWordPDF (adult services)
Our Patron Application is for individuals interested in registering with our service.

Student ApplicationWordPDF (children and students)
Our Student Application is primarily intended for younger users who may be using the service both at home and school.  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).

Spanish Application: Word, PDF (adult services)
Our Spanish Application is a translated and slightly modified version of our Patron Application.

Institutional ApplicationWordPDF (school, care facilities, etc)
Lastly, our Institutional Application is for institutions such as retirement communities, nursing homes, rehab centers, schools, and libraries interested in registering with our service in order to receive one demo player and one demo book (click here for our Institutional Services page).  If an institution has residents or patients interested in receiving books, please fill out a Patron Application for each of them.

Thank you very much for your interest in our services.  Please contact us using the information below if you have any questions or require any clarification. 
Talking Book and Braille Library
Oregon State Library 
250 Winter St NE 
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 378-5389
Toll Free (800) 452-0292 
E-Mail: Talking Books Front Desk
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