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  • The BARD Mobile apps for Android and iOS devices allow you to enjoy your personal library everywhere you go.

  • Talking Book Service is provided to anyone who is blind, visually impaired, or has physical disabilities preventing the reading of standard print.

  • If you read braille, ask your reader advisor to sign you up for braille service. You can find titles in the online catalog. If you have a refreshable braille display, consider also signing up for Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) to access the Web-Braille collection.

  • The rechargeable talking book players can be used anywhere you want to listen to a book. They are lighter and easier to use. There is nothing quite like listening to a book on your warm, sunny deck.

  • Talking books are now available in digital cartridge form and mailed to you in a blue plastic case via "free matter for the blind or physically handicapped". The new digital players are portable and easy to use.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) and the Illinois State Library's Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS) strive to ensure that all may read by providing eligible patrons access to NLS materials regardless of age, economic circumstances, or technical expertise.

High-Volume Players and Headsets

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NLS has developed a high-volume player (HVP) for use by patrons who are hearing impaired. The HVP is available as a standard or advanced model that has been programmed to have an amplified volume up to 120 dB. It can be issued only by NLS and bears a warning label as it will damage regular hearing levels. The high-volume feature only works with the set of stereo headphones that NLS provides.

Recall of Cassette Machines!

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woman and man listening to a talking book cassette machine

The time has come to say goodbye to the C-1 cassette machines!

The National Library Service (NLS) ceased production of cassette books and players in 2010. The cassette tapes (mailed in green containers) are easily damaged and are not replaced when broken, and NLS is close to completing conversion of the cassette recordings into the digital format.

NFBI Spring Seminar for Parents, Students, and Teachers

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On April 16, 2016, the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois will hold concurrent annual Spring Seminars for Students and Parents at the Chicago Marriott-Midway Hotel. These seminars will be a day-long event consisting of meetings for visually impaired students, teachers and parents of children with visual impairment or blindness. Topics will include socialization, education, assistive technology, development of requisite blindness skills, and much more. Children ages three to twelve are invited to participate in Kids Camp.


Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center
125 Tower Drive
Burr Ridge, IL 60527

info [at] illinoistalkingbooks [dot] org
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