Audio Book Reader for Visually Impaired – 2022 Guide

Audiobook graphic
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DAISY Audio Book Reader Technology

Digital Accessible Information System is an emerging world standard for digital talking books for people who are blind or have a print reading disability ( Audio book players designed to support DAISY books give visually impaired readers a lot of functionality for accessing and enjoying audio books. DAISY books can be read on a portable digital playback device, on a computer equipped with playback software, or on a regular MP3 player. 

DAISY books have links between text and narration allowing a reader to go directly to specific sections, chapters or pages, and place multiple bookmarks. Books on tape or CD do not provide the ability to easily move around the book. When a user finishes reading, a digital playback device will mark or “remember” where the text was stopped, and resume play at that same place the next time the user starts to read. 

Common DAISY Talking Book / Audio Reading Devices

Victor Reader Trek by Humanware

Victor Reader Trek: Talking Daisy Book Reader & GPS in One for the Blind and Visually Impaired Overview Navigate The World around You And that latest Best Seller with One Consistent Physical Experience! Today people everywhere consume content while traveling, but for someone who is blind or visually impaired physical keys plus a consistent user experience is so much more important while navigating outside with one hand already occupied by a cane or guide dog. The Victor Reader Trek combines the world renowned simple book reading and media playback experience of the VictorReader Stream with the navigation guidance technology found in the Trekker Breeze. With the press of the online button you can toggle between the always-on Orientation guidance mode and offline or online book reading. Check Price Here:

Talking Bible Device

Talking Bibles are small electronic audio players that provide spoken Word verse and Scripture readings to people who cannot read the Bible for themselves. These devices were originally designed by missionaries in the rural and remote areas of Asia and Africa who were challenged by teaching the Gospel to people who cannot read. They developed a simple machine, no more complicated than a radio, that reads God’s message in the native languages of the areas they visited. These rugged electronic devices were designed for field mission work and can withstand the most severe conditions. A portion of each purchase is donated to Talking Bibles International, a global charity that carries on this calling.

Beyond mission work, this King James Version (KJV) Audio Bible is an ideal way to keep daily Scripture in the lives of those that struggle with reading or complicated technology. Seniors, kids and the blind find this device easy to use. This simple player was designed to look like a leather-bound Bible. It has only a few buttons / dials and no screens. The MP3 audio track is safe from tampering and cannot be recorded over. A dial turns this book reading machine on and off and controls the volume – which can be turned up loud enough to fill an entire room with sound. For personal listening, there is an opening for a headphone jack.
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Orcam MyEye with Reading Device

OrCam MyEye wearable assistive technology provides independence by allowing access to visual information, conveyed by audio, on a tiny camera that can be attached to any pair of eyeglasses. Using Artificial Intelligence the Orcam device reads text, recognizes faces, and identifies products. 

OrCam MyEye can help people with a variety of needs and is suitable for all eye conditions and all levels of vision loss. OrCam MyEye also benefits people with reading fatigue and reading difficulties. Check Price Here:

Talking Daisy Book & Media Player

The most affordable Daisy book reader, newest generation with 14 hours battery life. Plays unprotected Daisy 2.1 and 3.1 books, a wide variety of unprotected EBooks, and of course audiobooks and music. Lightweight,compact design (107x48x17mm), includes free tech support.
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From the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (Free Resources):

National Library Service (NLS) is a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical, perceptual, or reading disability that prevents them from using regular print materials. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS circulates books and magazines in braille or audio formats, that are instantly downloadable to a personal device or delivered by mail free of charge.

What is BARD?

BARD, the Braille and Audio Reading Download from the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), is a web-based service that provides access to thousands of special-format books, magazines, and music scores. BARD is password-protected, and all files are in an electronic downloadable form of compressed audio or formatted braille. BARD is operated as a partnership between NLS and its network of cooperating libraries in the United States and its territories. NLS maintains the website, uploads titles, and supplies libraries with circulation statistics. Network libraries approve reader applications, respond to reader inquiries, and provide technical support.

What is Available on Braille Audio Reading Download?

BARD makes available books and magazines from the vast NLS collection selected on the basis of their appeal across a wide range of interests. More than 115,000 audio and braille fiction and nonfiction titles are available, including some in languages other than English. Issues of more than ninety magazine titles are also available. NLS adds new titles regularly, including specially acquired music scores and music appreciation books. Network libraries routinely contribute local and regional interest titles.

BARD Mobile

Digital audio and ebraille materials are also available through the BARD Mobile app for iOS and Android devices. BARD Mobile can be downloaded through the App Store, Google Playstore, and Amazon Appstore: To download books and magazines on an iOS or Android device through the BARD Mobile app, users must register for the BARD online service with their network libraries. A refreshable braille display with a Bluetooth connection is required to access ebraille materials through the BARD Mobile app. 

Digital Talking Books

Digital talking books can be downloaded as a ZIP file to a computer in protected compressed audio file format. Once a reader selects, downloads, and saves the file, it can be decompressed and transferred to a USB thumb drive or cartridge to play on a library-provided digital talking-book machine or an approved commercial digital player. Users must be able to access the Internet and be authorized to use the service by their local cooperating library. Basic computer and Internet skills, including familiarity with online forms and downloading and unzipping files, are essential.


On a computer, downloaded ebraille (electronic braille) materials can be embossed or read with a refreshable braille display. Users must have a braille display, braille-aware device, or braille embosser to read ebraille files. Ebraille materials are available in contracted and uncontracted format, and can be downloaded by individual volume (in the NLS Voyager catalog) or in a ZIP file on the BARD website containing all volumes of the book (or parts of the magazine).

BARD Express

BARD Express software is free for NLS patrons who use BARD to download audio materials on Windows-based computers. With the touch of a button, BARD Express unzips and transfers files to an NLS cartridge or a USB drive. Step-by-step menus allow the patron to move books easily from a PC to the patron’s device of choice. The software boasts a wider range of search-and-browse options to search the catalog. Once downloaded, BARD Express offers sorting options. The software categorizes materials such as magazines and books, and items can be marked as read or unread. Active NLS patrons with a BARD account can download BARD Express from the BARD home page. Support, “how-to” videos, frequently asked questions, and a getting started guide can be found on the BARD Express home page

Eligibility to Use BARD and How to Sign Up

All active NLS patrons with an email account are eligible for BARD service. NLS patrons may visit and follow the link to “BARD application instructions” to complete an online application. They will be contacted by their local cooperating library after submitting the application. Eligible readers may call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323) or visit Find Your Library to locate their local cooperating library. Eligible institutions who provide NLS services or whose primary purpose is to produce braille books for the use of eligible readers in the United States may also access BARD. The nearest cooperating library may be contacted for more information.


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