Free Audio Books for Blind or Disabled Seniors

The National Library Service is a free service that allows blind, vision impaired, or physically disabled older adults to read independently

Seniors with low vision or disabilities can still enjoy reading

Many older adults still enjoy reading even though their eyesight may have declined with age, they’ve become blind, or they’ve developed a physical disability. 

If that happens, traditional books won’t work anymore. And it’s no fun if they’re always forced to rely on someone to read to them.

Audio books and braille books allow these seniors to continue reading on their own.

There’s a free braille and audio book service from the National Library Service, part of the Library of Congress, that allows vision impaired or physically disabled older adults to continue reading independently.

We explain how this excellent free service works, who’s eligible, and how to sign up.


Free service sends audiobooks and braille books to the house

The National Library Service (NLS) is a free braille and talking book library service for people with vision impairments or physical disabilities that prevent them from holding traditional books.

The free service works through local libraries that send NLS talking or braille books and magazines via mail straight to the home or via instant downloads (account required).

Plus, they also provide the easy-to-use playback equipment designed for people with low/no vision.

The NLS offers:

  • Braille or audio book formats
  • Free mailing to your door or instant downloads
  • A wide variety of the most current reading material, including best sellers, biographies, fictional works, how-to books, magazines, and music scores
  • BARD mobile app for download and playback anywhere


Who is eligible for NLS books

Who’s eligible (summarized, see full details here):

  • Blind persons with 20/200 vision or less in the better eye with correcting lenses
  • Persons whose visual disability with correction is certified to prevent reading of standard printed material
  • Persons certified as unable to read or use standard printed material due to physical limitations

Who can certify eligibility (summarized, see full details here):

  • Doctors of medicine or osteopathy
  • Ophthalmologists or optometrists
  • Registered nurses
  • Therapists
  • Social workers
  • Professional librarians (in some cases)


How to sign up for NLS books

To apply for the NLS service, follow the instructions here.

For additional assistance, call (202) 707-5100 or 1-800-424-8567 toll-free.

To speak with a local librarian, call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323) toll free. Your call will be connected to a participating library near you.


Next Step  Apply for NLS service or find out more about the National Library Service


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team


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