D.C. Talking Book and Braille Library

D.C. Talking Book and Braille Library

The District of Columbia Talking Book and Braille Library provides library services to eligible individuals who are unable to read print materials due to a visual, physical or reading disability, and to organizations that serve them. We are affiliated with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress and the DC Public Library.

The library lends books for children, teens and adults in a wide array of genres and subjects, spanning everything from classics to recent bestsellers. The library also offers audio-described movies that contain an additional audio description of key visual elements of the film for people who are unable to see the action on the screen. Registered patrons can also access Newsline audio newspaper service, which allows users to listen to newspapers and magazines over the phone.

Upon approval of your application, we will send you braille and/or audio books as often as you wish. The library will also supply the audio book player for listening to the books, and we mail them right to your door, or assist you in downloading them through our BARD downloadable book program. In addition to audio books and magazines, we provide braille books and magazines through a contract with the Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library in Massachusetts. There is no charge for any of the library’s services or materials, and all items can easily be returned through the U.S. mail, postage free.

D.C. residents are eligible for these services if they:

  • Are legally blind with vision of 20/200 or less, or have a visual field no greater than 20 degrees
  • Are unable to see well enough to read with comfort for extended periods of time, even with correction
  • Have a physical limitation that makes holding a book or turning pages difficult
  • Are certified by a medical doctor as having a reading disability that prevents them from reading standard print
Schools, libraries, hospitals, nursing and rehabilitation centers, daycare programs and other agencies serving individuals who qualify may also apply. An institution may borrow equipment and materials for use by eligible individuals in either a group setting or for individual use.

To apply, please complete the individual application form or institutional application form and mail it to the DC Public Library Center for Accessibility at the address given below. All information will remain confidential.

Telephone: 202-727-2142
Videophone: 202-559-5368
Email: lbph.dcpl@dc.gov

File Individual Application Form157.03 KB