BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) is a free online service where users can download electronic copies of Braille books and magazines (along with audio books as well). These books are in contracted Braille ASCII format. Each file represents one volume of a Braille book or magazine. Electronic Braille books can be downloaded for reading off-line or for embossing. Reading electronic Braille files requires a Braille display, Braille-aware note taker, or Braille embosser. In addition, electronic Braille files may be listened to with a player that has text-to-speech capabilities such as a Victor Reader Stream.
With BARD books, users do not have to worry about due dates, download limits, or waiting lists. There are no due dates for Braille books and magazines downloaded from BARD. Users can keep BARD downloads for as long as they would like. There are also no limits to the number of items users can download from BARD. With enough digital storage space, users can download the entire BARD library. Plus, all BARD books and magazines are available for immediate download 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no waiting list. It really is a win, win, win, and it’s all FREE!
If you are interested in signing up for BARD, fill out the online application by clicking this link. You must be a registered Talking Book and Braille Services user before you can sign up for BARD. For more information about BARD, including download instructions, FAQs, and user requirements, click here.