Where Do I Find Braille, Large Print, or Digital Books? Free is Good. Question
American Action Fund (AAF)
The AAF provides blind children a free Braille book from a popular children’s service. Books are delivered once a month. Sample book series: Nancy Drew®, The Hardy Boys®, and Junie B. Jones and A to Z Mysteries®. Targeted readers are 2nd graders and up. Contact: (410) 659-9315, ext. 2287
Bookshare® is an online library of digital books for people with print disabilities. It operates under an exception to U.S. copyright law which allows copyrighted digital books to be made available to people with qualifying disabilities. In addition, many publishers and authors have volunteered to provide Bookshare with access to their works. By requiring individuals to register as Members and provide a Proof of Disability, Bookshare ensures that only qualified individuals use the service.
Bookshare Members download books, textbooks and newspapers in a compressed, encrypted file. They then read the material using adaptive technology, typically software that reads the book aloud (text-to-speech) and/or displays the text of the book on a computer screen, or Braille access devices, such as refreshable Braille displays.
Through an award from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), Bookshare offers free memberships to U.S. schools and qualifying U.S. blind or visually impaired students.
The Braille Institute, Special Collection Program
The Braille Special Collection program for children was designed to increase braille literacy by offering blind and visually impaired children the opportunity to order a variety of books throughout the year, free of charge, to create a special library of their own.
The Braille Institute transcribes collection of classic and contemporary literature and nonfiction material encompassing more than 1,100 titles and appealing to all reading levels. Families may order up to 12 braille books a year from their seasonal catalogs.
Any visually impaired child who is living in the United States or Canada and is between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible for the Braille Special Collection Program.
Toll free at: 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553)
Formally known as Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. Free accessible audiobooks for students with visual impairments. Learning Ally serves more than 300,000 K-12, college and graduate students, veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Learning Ally’s collection of more than 65,000 digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles – downloadable and accessible on mainstream as well as specialized assistive technology devices – is the largest of its kind in the world.
The National Braille Press (NPS)
National Braille Press is a Boston-based nonprofit braille printing and publishing house founded in 1927 to ensure that blind people have the same access to information as sighted people in a medium they can read-braille.
The National Braille Press, along with Seedlings Braille Books for Children has sponsored ReadBooks! Program. Attractive Braille book bags are distributed to families with blind and visually impaired children, age’s birth to seven, across the country. 1-888-965-8965 ext. 34.
Children’s Braille Book Club is another NPS program where children can receive a new book each month. Families can receive free monthly notices and choose the titles they want or you can pay a $100 subscription and receive one book per month (12 books). As a private nonprofit organization, National Braille Press subsidizes the books it sells to blind readers, so that they cost no more that the retail print books. The difference between our sales price and the actual cost of production is significant.
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail. Other direct services include: Braille transcription and proofreading courses and music instruction, scores and books.
Seedlings Braille Books
Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a 501©3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy by providing high quality, low cost braille books for children. They produced over 1,100 losw cost children’s books in Braille. Seedling’s books are always on sale (they are sold for approximately half of what it costs to make them).
Seedlings has several “free Braille” projects. The Rose Project provides a World Encyclopedia Articles in Braille for blind students 1-12 grade.
Children can received two free Braille books per year in the Seedling’s Book Angel Program Must register each year. Contact: 800-777-8552
Utah Library for the Blind & Disabled
They provide books on tape, Braille and large print books. They also have descriptive videos available. Parents are encouraged to sign up for their infant/toddler pre-readers!