Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Free Accessible Reading Material and Programs from Libraries Across the Nation

Submitted by Jill Rothstein, Chief Librarian, Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library of The New York Public Library

The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, part of the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled of the Library of Congress, provides free accessible reading material to anyone residing in this country who has a disability that prevents them from using regular print materials. Choose from over 145,000 titles, including current bestsellers, thrillers, classics, literary award winners, cookbooks, poetry, romances, and westerns, as well as nursery rhymes and books for kids and teens. More than 60 audio magazines are available as well, including People, Newsweek, and health newsletters. Get a talking book player and talking books mailed to your door, or download them instantly from our website onto a flash drive to play in the free player. You can also use our free app, BARD Mobile, to listen to all of our titles on the go with no wait lines and no return date! In addition, we provide physical and digital braille, free assistive technology coaching and group workshops, and librarians who will help you find the kinds of books you like and make sure you get as many as you want.

Upcoming Virtual Programs

Here are some upcoming free training programs from The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library:

Beginning tomorrow, April 2, 2022 from 1 to 2:30 pm ET (Eastern Time) three sessions on iPhone Chat for Voiceover Beginners, will go over “how screen readers work, gestures everyone needs to know, and some strategies to get help.” The workshops occur the first Saturday of the next two months as well, May 7 and June 4. There will be opportunities for questions and networking. Join the Zoom for Voiceover Beginners here.

Also beginning tomorrow, April 2, from 2:30 to 4 pm ET and continuing on May 7 and June 4, sessions on iPhone Chat for Voiceover Users: Beyond the Basics, cover how to customize gestures and settings, explore new apps, select accessories, and more, with opportunities for questions and networking. A Zoom link to connect directly to the program is available only on the days and time it is offered for Voiceover: Beyond the Basics here. For any questions about signing on, please contact Chancey Fleet, Assistive Tech Coordinator, Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library—The New York Public Library, [email protected].

Intro to NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access): This twelve-week workshop occurs on Tuesdays, beginning April 5, 2022, from 12 to 1:30 pm ET. Participants can discover how this free Windows screen reader compares with other options. Each session includes a hands-on lesson and discussion, covering the basics of customizing NVDA settings, navigating Window 10, managing files, and more. For more information and to register, go to Exploring NVDA, Spring 2022.

Exploring Voiceover for Mac, a Twelve-Week Workshop, also occurs on Tuesdays, beginning on April 5, 2022 from 3 to 4:30 pm ET. These hands-on workshops are recommended for those who can type and “would like to become more proficient with the Voiceover screen reader.” Sessions include discussion and cover customizing Voiceover settings, working with text, managing files, and more. Get additional information and register here for Exploring Voiceover for Mac.

Exploring JAWS: Also a twelve-week workshop, this program takes place from 5 to 6:30 pm ET, beginning April 5, 2022. It is recommended for those who can type and “would like to become more confident and proficient with the JAWS screen reader…” Learn more about and register for Exploring JAWS Spring 2022 here.