Texas Talking Book Program Provides Free Library Services to Texans with Visual, Physical or Reading Disabilities

Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Austin, TX

Do you know someone who has lost their vision or is losing their vision? Even though someone’s vision may be diminished, they can still enjoy the pleasure of reading books and magazines, and the Texas Talking Book Program (TBP) is here to help.

Eligible patrons can receive a free digital audio player on loan, and there is no cost for return postage. Even better, program participants can download books onto a flash drive through the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) or using the free app, BARD Mobile, which works on smartphone and tablets.

These services are completely free, and the collection includes more than 100,000 books and 70-plus magazines--all available for patrons to read from the comfort of home. Bestsellers, non-fiction titles and magazines such as Texas Monthly, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated for Kids, as well as large print musical scores are available.

TBP provides free digital audiobooks and magazines, large print and Braille books to Texans of any age who have a visual disability, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and other diseases of the eye. People with physical disabilities that prevent them from holding a book and/or turning pages may qualify, and individuals with a reading disability may also qualify. Veterans are given priority status.

Another unique service of the Talking Book Program is the Disability Information and Referral Center (DIRC). This unit assists with questions about disability issues, including questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, rehabilitation services, advocacy and support groups, sources for large print and Braille reading materials and adaptive technology. This service also contains a disability information collection mail order lending library. Information is available about all types of disabilities, not just those that qualify patrons for the TBP.

For more information about TBP’s programs and services, call (toll free) 1-800-252-9605 or 512-463-5458. You can also visit www.TexasTalkingBooks.org or email tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov to learn more.


The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit tsl.texas.gov.

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Susan Floyd
Communications Officer
Page last modified: October 15, 2019