Audio Books For Those With Vision Loss

Audio Books For Those With Vision Loss

Posted on Sep.08, 2011, by , under Low Vision Tips

Audio Books Macular Degeneration

Many people with macular degeneration or other types of vision loss, will alternate from reading their favorite books to listening to their favorite books. Sometimes, listening is a welcome change to the strain of trying to read. Simply find yourself a comfortable spot to sit, put up your feet, close your eyes, and listen.

Audio Book Devices

There are several different audio devices that can be used, depending on the type of technology that works best for you. It can be anything from an old cassette player, CD player, MP3 player, iPod, iPhone or an electronic reader. Books on tape are not available from stores any more, although you may find used ones on line or perhaps at your local library. If you, your friend or loved one has not entered the digital age, like my father-in-law who has wet macular degeneration, books on CD are a great alternative. CD players are inexpensive and small enough to be portable. Free books on CD are available from many local libraries and depending on your branch, may even mail them to you.

An iPod, iPhone, or  MP3 player can be used to listen to your books. The touch screens make them easy to navigate and there are many more options for audio books on line than there are CD’s.

Free talking books are available from cooperating library services to U.S. residents and citizens living abroad whose macular degeneration or other vision impairment makes it difficult to read standard print.  The local cooperating U. S. libraries mail the audiobooks, magazines, and audio equipment directly to enrollees at no cost.

Audio Book Quality

There are different levels of audio book quality – depending on the reader, the recording equipment and the studio. Purchased audio books are read by professional performers and you will find that the quality of the reader makes listening to audio books more enjoyable.  Most free audio books use volunteer readers, some of which are really good and some are well, a bit boring.

Audio Book Costs

There are several ways to help reduce the cost of listening to your audio books.  Books on CD clubs, free talking books, or downloaded books all provide every genre of books available. Purchasing books on CD is the most expensive. Call your local library to see what kind of selection they offer and if they provide any type of delivery service.  You or your loved one may qualify for free books on tape through  the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The reading device and audio books are delivered to eligible readers by postage-free mail and are returned in the same manner.

Find out if you or someone you knows qualifies for free books on tape:

Free Books on Tape

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

Better Health for Better Vision