Audiobook Month Day 3

Audiobooks as adaptive tech – fabulous and FREE!  Are you the parent of a child with a documented print disability, such as a learning disability, visual impairment or other physical disability? Do you serve children or adults that would benefit from assistive technology for those with print disabilities? You may want to investigate the resources available through Learning Ally, an amazing FREE program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and others.

Founded in 1948 as Recording for the Blind, Learning Ally serves more than 300,000 K-12, college and graduate students and adults, all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Learning Ally’s collection of more than 65,000 downloadable digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles is the largest of its kind in the world. More than 6,000 volunteers across the U.S. help to record and process the educational materials, which students rely on to achieve academic and professional success. There’s even an iPod app so that students can listen to their course requirements on their own players!

Membership is FREE, and members may request titles not currently in the Learning Ally catalog to be recorded for their student – but of course, this requires advance planning. The summer months are a great time to get set for the next school year! I encourage those interested in this great resource to learn more by visiting the Learning Ally website at http://www.learningally.org to learn more and complete an online registration form. One of the most-read Audiobooker posts featured free audiobook resources for those with disabilities. Be sure you add these resources to your toolbox to assist those who would benefit from these wonderful resources such as Learning Ally and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped: www.loc.gov/nls/index.html.

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About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

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