A Note on Available Formats
The literature listed indicates the various formats a book is available in: audio, braille, or print. Direct links are not provided but can be found through programs mentioned on this page, your local library, or on platforms such as Amazon.
Audio typically comes in the form of a human narrator and may require a device to play that audio. Assistive technology can be used as a mode to access print auditorily. For example, using the voiceover accessibility feature on a smart phone or a screen reader on a laptop. BookShare has a web reader which provides the option of text being electronically read out loud.
If you are reading with a child who is blind/visually impaired, you may be interested in exposing them to braille. Books available in braille may come in paper braille, electronic braille, or Twin Vision braille. Some places such as Seedlings or American Printing House produce books with Twin Vision pages. Twin Vision is a term used to refer to clear plastic braille being laid over top of printed visual words. Not all children’s books come in this format. However, one can make their own Twin Vision books by using a braille labeler and clear stick paper.
Otherwise, braille may come in hard print, or electronic braille, also called Braille Ready File (BRF). An electronic braille display such as a Note Taker is needed to read electronic braille. Electronic braille can save space, because hard print braille is much larger than print and requires more shelf space than a typical print book.
To find additional sources of braille formatted books, please visit the AT&AEM Center.
Print can be uniquely challenging for those who are blind/visually impaired. Assistive technology is an option to access print. Some places such as BookShare have an accessible web reader built into their online platform. The specialized web reader has magnification and highlighting options for the printed text. Other options could include magnification devices, such as an AZTV, or magnification software such as Zoom Text.
There are several library programs and resources providing braille nationally and in Ohio. Many of them provide free or low-priced books for those who are eligible. Those who are legally blind as verified by a professional may qualify for free books in various formats from the National Library Service or BookShare.
Want more information about books for those who are blind/visually impaired? Visit our MedEd Connections Resource guide to keep learning.
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