Serving Children with Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that reasonable accommodations must be made for persons with disabilities in library buildings, programs, and materials. When putting together programs and activities for the 2001 Texas Reading Club, keep in mind that whatever works for children with disabilities will work for all children. With a little planning, simple, inexpensive adaptations can be introduced to program sites and materials to enable more children to enjoy the activities.
The Talking Book Program (TBP), a division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), has a Disability Information and Referral Center (DIRC) that provides information to any interested persons about adaptive equipment, games and toys, support groups, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other topics. Questions will be answered by staff or referred to other resources. The DIRC can be reached at 1-800-252-9605 (in Texas) or 512-463-5458 (in Austin) or by email at email@example.com.
The Talking Book Program
The Talking Book Program (TBP) is a joint state and federal program that provides unabridged books in alternate formats for Texans of all ages who are unable to read standard print material due to visual, physical, or reading disabilities. The service is free of charge and available to anyone who qualifies because they are unable to read standard print material as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical limitations.
A properly certified application must be submitted for each prospective patron verifying that the applicant meets one or more of the federal eligibility criteria, namely:
- A visual disability of sufficient severity to prevent the reading of standard print without the use of an aid other than prescription glasses
- A physical disability that prevents the individual from holding a book or turning the pages, or
- A reading disability that is physically based and of sufficient severity to prevent the reading of standard print material in a normal manner.
Applications submitted for individuals with reading disabilities must be certified by a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy. Applications submitted for individuals with other disabilities can be certified by a number of professionals in various fields related to health care, education, or rehabilitation, or by a professional librarian or library director.
TBP provides books on cassette tape, in braille, and in large print. Special playback equipment is loaned free of charge for use with books in cassette. All materials are circulated to TBP patrons free of charge through the regular U.S. Postal service.
Because TBP patrons are located throughout the state and interaction is limited to the telephone and the mail, TBP encourages younger patrons to participate in the Texas Reading Club activities sponsored by public libraries in their communities. TBP will continue to provide the books in alternative media needed.
Please refer any individual qualified to use this service to TBP for an application, or call and request applications and brochures to keep in your library. Help young readers with disabilities in Texas make the most of the Texas Reading Club experience!
Call or write TBP with your questions or requests for applications:
Talking Book Program
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
PO Box 12927 Austin TX 78711-2927
1-800-252-9605 (toll-free in Texas)
512-463-5458 (Austin area)
Web Site: www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp