I am sure each of you knows someone in your life that has difficulty reading because of small print. Many of us as we near the forties and fifties will find our selves in the same predicament. Do you know that there are national and local resources available which provide large print books as well as books on audio? Some of the organizations that provide these items do so at no cost while others do at minimal costs.
What a wonderful resource to have available especially if you are caring for a senior who has always been and independent, avid reader. My neighbor down the hall was 100 years old. She was a former school teacher who was house bound. Her eyesight was failing and so was her hearing. She read so much and always had listened to music. Show tunes were her favorite.
For a while I found that if I brought in some of my old piano music and a microphone, I could sing some of her favorite songs. I bought music on tape and let her use the headphones and we would sing along together. I discussed her lack of contact with the real world since she know longer could hear the radio or television and she only saw shadows.
I spent time researching with the Lighthouse for the Blind and the New York City Library to find out, indeed that there was much available. I shared all I learned with Tillie and she was ecstatic that the world would once again open up to her.
Did you know that there are large print books of the Bible, crossword puzzles, cookbooks and so much more…You may be wondering where you begin.
Call or visit your local library. It’s free. If they don’t have it, request that they acquire from another library on loan. This is definitely possible if you live near or within a big city system. The system may also have a service for rental of a special audio cassette machine that adapts specifically for the hard of hearing. Some may have a wait list so don’t hesitate to put your name on it. Many of these libraries will mail the books, cassettes and player to you or your loved one directly through the US mail with no cost to you for the delivery or return. Such a blessing for so many. All you do is file an application for them. It is detailed so that information is compiled on the interests the individual you are filing for are kept on file. When books and cassettes come in that fill the need, you are notified.
Call the Library of Congress National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at (800) 424-8567 or (202) 707-5100 to get a list of libraries and centers that can accommodate you in your area.
The R. R. Bowker’s Complete Directory of Large-Print Books and Serials is a publication that most local libraries have. The directory contains thousands of titles in a variety of subjects and genres, including crossword puzzles, the bible games and almost every topic you can think of.
National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped – The Free Talking-Book ProgramThe NLS loans talking books, and the special cassette player needed to hear the audios throughout the country. The cassettes are quite unique in that you can control the speed of the speech, the decibels and much more so that it can accommodate the needs of the one your are providing it for. The NLS records approximately two thousand new titles per year. You can order as many as ten titles for a certain period of time. Delivery and return of the items and equipment along with a catalog of items available is all free of charge.
To telephone call (800) 424-8567 or (202) 707-9275 or (202) 707-5100 or inquire through the mail to Reference Section,National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20542
Also check into the Choice Magazine Listening, a free, privately funded, nonprofit service, provides audio cassette tapes of current magazine articles to people who are blind, visually impaired, or unable to read because of other physical limitations. Their phone number in Long Island, News York is: (800) 424-8567 or (516) 883-8280 Their web site is:
National Association for the Visually Handicapped
A private, nonprofit organization with offices in both San Francisco and New York City providing a catalog with over 7000 titles. Call the San Francisco office at (415) 221-3201, or New York City office (212) 889-3141for a catalog.
The New York Times (800) 631-2580, The Readers Digest (800) 431-1246 ) and other reading materials also offer large print editions which you must pay for.
American Printing House for the Blind: (800) 223-1839.
Books on Tape: Phone: (800) 882-6657 Web site: www.booksontape.com
Barnes and Noble: Web site: www.barnesandnoble.com
Amazon Web site: www.amazon.com
Borders Web site: www.borders.com
The Bible Alliance Phone: (941) 748-3031 – The Bible Alliance PO Box 621
Brandenton, FL 34062
Address: American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Avenue
PO Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085