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News ::
Listened to a good book lately? (english)
08 Apr 2003
Talking books for people unable to read print because of a physical disability are available free from the Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library.
CONTACT: Vicki Vogt, (617) 972-7418/ (800) 852-3133
Email: vicki.vogt (at)

Listened to a good book lately?

Talking books offer an alternative for
those who cannot read print books

An estimated 175,000 individuals in the State of Massachusetts cannot
read a printed page due to blindness, low vision, physical disability, or reading impairment such as dyslexia, according to Kim Charlson, Director of the Braille and Talking Book Library, located at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. Yet, only 10 percent of these people are signed up to use the Library, which provides free services to eligible patrons on a statewide basis.

"Some people are simply not aware that there are alternative ways to read a book," says Charlson, "especially older individuals who have always enjoyed print books but gradually lost their vision. Others may not know that services are free of charge and easy to obtain. Many may not know how to go about getting the information they need in order to apply for services."

Through the Library, patrons may borrow "talking books", professionally narrated recordings of books on 4-track cassette along with the playback equipment needed to listen to them. In its collection, the Library maintains approximately 65,000 book titles for adults and children, as well as 100 magazine subscriptions, which are also free. Bestsellers, biographies, westerns, mysteries, romance and how-to books are in most demand among patrons. The Library also maintains a collection of braille books and magazines for individuals of all ages. Books are delivered and returned, postage free, through the U. S. mail.

Eligibility is determined through an application process. For an application in English or Spanish, call the Braille and Talking Book Library at 1-800-852-3133. Brochures are also available in English and Spanish, in braille, and on cassette with recorded English and Spanish narration.
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