Reading Resources  

I don't know about you, but when I was younger and my sight was better, I could spend a whole Saturday reading a good book.  Unfortunately with vision loss, it became more of a struggle and not as enjoyable.  There are many magnifying devices that can help, but I found holding them and the book up to my face to read just became uncomfortable. Luckily, with advances in technology, there are many more options out there; media on devices, audio, and even streaming services.  

National Reading Resources

Through the Library of Congress, the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled offers a variety of services.  Many of these are in partnership  with your local library.  They have Braille and audio books, equipment, other resources, and a Directory of producers of Accessible Reading materials.  They have an application process for their service.


Your Local Library

One of the best places to start is your local library.  Reason number one?  It's FREE!  All you need is a library card which you can get at the library.  Just make sure it is in the town you live in.  Big or small, most libraries belong to larger networks, so if your library doesn't have what you are looking for, they can probably get it from another library.  Libraries now offer everything from regular print books, large print books, CDs, DVDs, video games,ebooks, audio books, books on CD, and much more. Now check out your library's webpage.  Not only do they list events, online courses, newspapers, magazines, and the like, the offer a large selection of online resources.  You can actually "borrow" an audio book or an  eBook which you can download to your device.   They can usually help you with the downloading instructions as well.

Braille and Large Print Reading

Braille and Large print books can be found at all the usual suspects; Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Abebooks.com, and other book sellers.  Below are a few non-+traditional places to to find them.

Braille Books

The National Federation for the Blind has a Braille Reading Pals Club for young children.

The Braille Bookstore offers braille books and other products.

Seedlings.org has braille books for children.


Tablets

Speaking of devices, If you like to read, then I recommend a tablet.  They are more portable than a laptop, less expansive, and they offer the ability to enlarge the text to suit your needs.  If you are going to be enlarging the print, than you may want to consider at least a 10" screen.  Anything smaller and you will only be able to fit a few words on a screen at a time and thus you will be "turning the pages" quite often. There are many brands and options to choose from, so it may be difficult to choose.  I found two helpful reviews that may make your decision a little but easier.  Smallbusinessify.com has a great article about choosing a tablet for someone who is visually impaired.  Windowsreport.com has an article on their ratings of the best devices for the visually impaired.  I do not endorse any product, I am just compiling the information. I personally have an Amazon Kindle Fire 10.  I purchased it many years ago when there were many less choices.  I love it, but I cannot read outside like you can with other tablets, There are many options and features to consider.  Below I have listed the options for the Barnes and Noble Nook, the Amazon Kindle, and the Apple iPad.   There are many options and many price points,  but if you are visually impaired and love to read, I highly recommend investing in a device .

Amazon Kindle options

Apple iPad options

Barnes and Noble Nook options

Digital Media - Ebooks, Ezines, Audio books

eBooks

There are plenty of online sources to get free and low-cost media, as well as full priced.  Places like Google books, Apple Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, are the notable ones.  Each of these has a large number of free books, just type "free eBook" in the search bar.   Doing a general Google search for eBooks will produce many more results.

Audio Books

Like to listen to your books?  There are several ways you can enjoy an audio book. streaming services like Spotify have book and podcast libraries.  Audible and Audiobooks.com offer audio book subscriptions online.


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