Bill Gates’ 2018 Summer Reading List

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, announced his summer reading list for 2018. The Texas Talking Book Program has most of them in our collection. This year many of his selections deal with the big questions in life. Although these books deal with some heavy topics, he stresses that most of them are fairly short in length.

For more information directly from Bill Gates himself:

The books in TBP’s collection:


Author of Steve Jobs (DB 73682) chronicles the life of the iconic Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). Examines his early life in Vinci, artistic pursuits, patronage from leading Italian Renaissance families, engineering projects, investigations into human anatomy, and more. Bestseller. 2017.

DB   89588


Theologian specializing in the history of American prosperity gospel examines this faith tradition and draws parallels to her personal battle with stage IV colon cancer in her mid-thirties. Discusses her own medical treatments, her faith journey, and the ways the prosperity gospel has infiltrated secular American life. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2018.

DB   90181


1862. One night, soon after the death of his eleven-year-old son, Willie, President Abraham Lincoln goes to visit the recently interred body in Georgetown. There, he encounters the ghosts of the cemetery’s residents, including Willie, who must escape the limbo he is in. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. 2017.

DB   86941


A statistician and medical doctor believes most people hold mistaken ideas unsupported by facts about global issues such as poverty, education, and the environment. He explains that instincts and biases distort our perspective, and we don’t know what we don’t know. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2018.

DB 91120

Disability Focus Group Opportunity in the Austin Area

Travis and Williamson counties, which include the cities of Austin, Pflugerville, and Round Rock, are collaborating on a regional housing and economic opportunity study. They’ve hired BBC Research & Consulting to do the assessment. Disability Rights Texas has been asked to host a focus group session specifically for people with disabilities.

Event Information:
Location: Disability Rights Texas, 2222 W Braker Lane, Austin, TX 78758
Date: Tuesday, September 11th, 2018
Time 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (1.5 hours)
Lunch will be provided.

If you’d like to participate, click here:

TBP’s Administrative Rules Review / Revisión de las Reglas Administrativas de TBP

TBP’s Administrative Rules Review: All state agencies and their programs have administrative rules, which are reviewed every four years, amended as needed, and then readopted. The notice of the review of TBP’s 18 rules has been published in the July 27, 2018 edition of the Texas Register (

You may read the rules here: Comments about the rule review may be made by postal mail, email, or phone to Ava Smith, Director, Talking Book Program, at P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX, 78711-2927,, or 512-463-5428. Comments must be received by August 27, 2018.

Revisión de las Reglas Administrativas de TBP: Todas las agencias estatales y sus programas correspondientes tienen reglas administrativas. Estas reglas son sometidas a una revisión cada cuatro años, se modifican como sea necesario, y después son re-adoptadas.

En Julio 27 de 2018, en la publicación Texas Register ( fue anunciada la revisión de las 18 reglas administrativas de TBP( Usted puede leer las reglas aqui:

Sus comentarios sobre la revisión de nuestras reglas pueden ser enviados por correo normal, por correo electrónico, o por teléfono a Ava Smith, Directora. Programa de Libros que Hablan. P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX, 78711-2927,, o llame al 512-463-5428. La fecha límite para recibir sus comentarios es August 27, 2018.


National Association of Blind Merchants BLAST conference

The National Association of Blind Merchants will host it’s BLAST conference from November 13 – 16, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. Super Early Bird Registration is occurring now until August 13th; the cost to register early is $200. For more information call the National Association of Blind Merchants at 888-687-6226 or click on this link:

The Color of Blind exhibit at the San Antonio Public Library

Color of Blind Exhibit Image
The Color of Blind is an interactive art show by Trina Geurra Bacon and Katherine Brown. First debuting in 2013, “The show allows visually impaired individuals, along with others with special sensory needs or challenges, to better connect with art,” explains Bacon. During the month of August, the San Antonio Public Library’s Central Branch gallery will host a “best in show” exhibit of some of Color of Blind’s fan favorite pieces. “Everyone should be able to fully experience art. We say ‘Yes- please touch the art!’” The Color of Blind will be free and open to the public during Central Library hours of operation.

The Color of Blind Exhibit
Dates: August 7, 2016 – August 26, 2016
Times: Mondays through Thursdays 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: San Antonio Public Library, Central Branch, 600 Soledad St, San Antonio, Texas 78205
For more information visit: or call 210-207-2500

Disability Voter Registration Week is July 16-20

July 16 – 20 has been designated as Disability Voter Registration Week.

You have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen in order to vote.
An application is required to register, but you only have to register once.
You can get a voting application at a public library, tax assessor’s office, high school, post office, or workforce commission office. You can also find the application online at

Three ways to vote if you are elderly or have a disability:
1) Mail in ballot
2) Curbside voting (call ahead for this option)
3) in person voting at a polling location

Persons with disabilities may request an accessible voting machine, an interpreter, or they may bring an assistant to help them vote.

Everyone must bring a form of ID if they vote in person. This may be a voter registration card, Texas ID card, driver’s license, gun license, military ID, passport, paycheck, birth certificate, or bank statement.

For more information on voting for people with disabilities, please visit or call the Voting Rights Hotline at 888-796-VOTE (8683)
The last day to register to vote in the November 2018 election is October 9th. Early voting begins on October 22nd. The election is on November 6th.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) Disability-Related Resources

All of the programs within the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department can be adapted for seniors and persons with disabilities. Activities include but are not limited to fishing, archery, boating, kayaking, hiking, and biking.

In addition, organizations can apply for an Accessible Resources in the Community Outdoor Outreach Program grant to fund a variety of needs such as equipment, supplies, transportation, and staff. For more information about the grant, visit

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department web site features the following links for wheelchair users:
Wheelchair-accessibility at parks:
Wheelchair-friendly events:
Please note that inclement weather can affect the accessibility of a park or outdoor space.

Sandra Heath is the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator at TPWD. She can be reached at 512-389-4818.
For more information about what the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has to offer, visit

Talking Book Program to be Closed from 5 pm Friday, June 22 through 8 am Monday, July 2nd:: El Programa de Libros que Hablan estará cerrado de las 5:00 pm el Viernes 22 de Junio hasta las 8 am el Lunes 2 de Julio.

Starting at 5 pm on Friday, June 22nd, we will be closed to the public while we upgrade our computer system. We will reopen on Monday, July 2nd at 8 am.  While we are closed, you may leave simple requests such as book orders or contact information changes on our voicemail, and they will be processed during our closure. We regret that we will not be able to call you back; if you need to speak to a staff member, please call back when normal hours resume on July 2nd.

Please do not visit the library between June 22nd and July 1st, as we cannot accommodate walk-in patrons during the closure.

You may also contact us via e-mail at  While we are closed, email requests will be processed, but no replies will be sent.

Thank you for your patience while we make this important transition.

Comenzando a las 5:00 pm el Viernes 22 de Junio, estaremos cerrados al público mientras actualizamos nuestro sistema informático. Abriremos de nuevo el Lunes 22 de Julio a las 8:00 am. Durante nuestra clausura, usted puede dejar mensajes sencillos en nuestro correo de voz, como ordenes de libros o cambios en su información de contacto (teléfono, dirección, etc.) Esas solicitudes serán procesadas durante la clausura. Sentimos no poder regresar las llamadas durante ese tiempo; si necesita hablar con un miembro del personal, por favor llámenos cuando reanudemos nuestras horas hábiles el 2 de Julio.

No podremos admitir visitas en persona del 22 de Junio al 1ero de Julio, ya que no estaremos capacitados para ayudar usuarios durante nuestra clausura. Usted puede mandarnos mensajes por correo electrónico a  Durante nuestra clausura sí procesaremos solicitudes recibidas por correo electrónico, pero no mandaremos respuestas.

Gracias por su paciencia durante esta importante transición.

July 2018 TBP Book Club Title Announced!

Texas Talking Book patrons: please join us on Tuesday July 24th at 7 pm (Central Time) for our book club discussion of MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY by Fredrik Backman (DB 83204)

Our book club meetings are hosted via toll free conference call, so all you need is a telephone to participate. To RSVP call the Talking Book Program at: 1-800-252-9605 (RSVP preferred by June 26st) or email us at: Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge or if you prefer to download it from BARD.

We request that everyone remember the following:

  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.
  • Be courteous. Try not to interrupt or talk over others; give everyone a chance to talk; be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.
  • If comfortable doing so, please preface your comments with your first name.

NLS Annotation:
Seven-year-old Elsa is acknowledged as weird. The grandmother she lives with is flat-out crazy, but she shares tales of the fairyland of Miamas. When her grandmother dies, Elsa is entrusted with delivering letters of apology and learns about her place in the world. Translated from the original 2013 Swedish edition. 2014

College Scholarships for Texas Students who are Blind

Two advocacy agencies in Texas offer scholarships for students who are blind:

The National Federation of the Blind of Texas (NFBTX):
Deadline: August 15, 2018
For more information and questions, call the NFBTX office at 281-968-7733 or send an email to Lara Sowell, NFBTX Scholarship Committee Chair, at

American Council of the Blind of Texas (ACBT):
Deadline: July 7, 2018
For more information and questions, contact Dianna E. Carter, ACBT Scholarship Committee Chair, at
Applications may also be obtained at Texas Workforce Solutions offices and Education Service Centers.