May 28, 2010, Newsletter Issue #55: Coping with Blindness: Reading

Tip of the Week

With advanced technology, it is getting easier for the blind and visually impaired to sit down and enjoy a good book. Bookshare.org is a site that acts as a central repository for scanned books. They are available for download over the internet. Bookshare does charge a small fee, but other sites have a limited selection of books that can be downloaded for free.

Books can be downloaded in digital grade 2 Braille or in the DAISY format. The books can be read using a refreshable Braille device or other accessible software program (such as Bookshare’s Victor Reader Soft DAISY book player, provided with membership to Bookshare). The books at Bookshare have full text, but no pre-recorded audio, thereby necessitating the use of a book player.

Other options include buying or downloading audio books on cassette or CD. These can be listened to in a standard cassette tape or CD player. Some audio books may also be free, depending on the book and the site where you find it.

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