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Audiobooks: Making Information and Entertainment Accessible

FAFTB Blog Header - Audiobooks Making Information and Entertainment Accessible
FAFTB Blog Header - Audiobooks Making Information and Entertainment Accessible

Let’s talk about audiobooks. In the past few years, audiobooks have become incredibly trendy. People of all ages love listening to great stories in every genre, and audiobooks have become a great option for many!

But when you are visually impaired, audiobooks are sometimes the only option. From make-believe stories to hard-hitting news, individuals who are blind or visually impaired want to consume the same content as everyone else. We all want to be informed and entertained, right?

That’s why First Aid for the Blind has compiled a list of affordable ways to access audiobooks. Take a look at our suggestions:

  • First, consider the Talking Books program through the Library of Congress. In summary, a patron, if found eligible, can receive a digital talking book player, plus books and magazines, at no charge to the patron. The patron can also directly download books and magazines directly to their smartphones using the BARD app. If the patron can read Braille, he or she can request hard copies of both books and magazines in the Braille format, and also download these items in a digital Braille format to be read with a Braille device.

  • The next suggestion just requires a library card from your local library! The Libby and Hoopla apps offer tens of thousands of books available for listening. Many of them are new, popular titles.

  • For those willing to pay a small fee, there is always Audible company, which is owned by Amazon. This service is handy for visually impaired individuals who are adept at using their Amazon Echo devices and can connect their Audible account to those systems.

  • Lastly, there is a program called Bookshare that is very affordable and offers more than a million titles, including textbooks!

Audiobooks have really taken off, meaning that you can find almost any title by using these common platforms. We expect these trends to continue upward, as data from Statista shows that the number of audiobook readers is expected to amount to 1.8 billion by 2029! This means the technology will likely continue to improve, and the amount of content will also grow.

Books truly open up worlds of information, ideas, connections, and inspiration. Audiobooks make that world more accessible, for which we are grateful.

First Aid for the Blind is all about cutting-edge technology that improves the lives of visually impaired people. If you’d like to learn more about our organization, check out our About page.


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