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The written word is an important part of everyday life. The inability to read and the inability to write is nothing more nor less than functional illiteracy. Literacy involves the ability to access written information, to communicate with others, and to avoid the feeling of being cut off from the world. Below is a list of resources available to help keep people staying connected.


American Foundation for the Blind - reading and writing


Braille and Audio Reading Download service (BARD)

The Arizona State Braille and Talking Book Library also allows access to the digital books at the Braille and Audio Reading Download service, also known as BARD. BARD is a collection of digital books and magazines available for fast download to a computer. These files will only play on a digital player, not on the older tape device. If you prefer to use a different book reader, the site will have a list of other players that can read the BARD files. You download the books and magazines and put the files on either a jump drive (thumb drive) or a new digital cartridge you can purchase from the Perkins School or Howell Mobility. Because the library service's cartridge has a shielded USB connector, you'll also need a USB extension cable, so don't forget to include that. A cartridge and cable together will cost about $15 with free shipping. Call the Arizona Braille and Talking Book Library at1-800-255-5578 to get more information.



What is Braille? It is a form of reading and writing using raised dots read by using your fingertips. It is not a language but a code using an arrangment of 6 dots in a set matrix that allows you to read, and write, in any language.


Braille Bibles International

Provides Braille, large print or audio bibles and related religious and educational materials to the visually impaired.

PO Box 378
Liberty, MO 64069-0378
(800) 522-4253
(877)822-4253 fax

Braille Plus, LLC

Braille: literary, foreign language; spiral binding; computer-produced; can accept material in print or disk. Other information: commercial, fee for service, guarantee 100% accuracy.

P.O. Box 1104, Gilbert, AZ 85297

(480) 782-0223   fax (480) 782-0267


Desert Volunteer Braille Guild

c/o The Foundation for Blind Children

Braille: literary, textbooks, math, French, Spanish; thermoforming; spiral binding; computer-produced; software (MicroBraille, Pokadot, Ed-It PC, and text conversion for MegaDots and Duxbury). Large print: general, math, music, textbooks, computer science, foreign languages; spiral binding; by digital copying and enlarging

1235 East Harmont Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85020  602-331-1470


National Braille Press - a nonprofit braille printer and publisher offering braille books, magazines, textbooks, tests, and embossing services.


National Federation of the Blind - Braille resources


Seedlings Braille Books for Children - a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy by providing high quality, low cost braille books for children. They offer 2 free books for blind children each year!


Southern Arizona Council of the Blind Book Club

at SAAVI, 3767 E Grant Road

The Southern Arizona chapter of the American Council of the Blind here in Tucson has recently started a book club. The book club meets in person or over the conference line on the second Saturday of each month from 1:30 - 2:30 pm. There is a new book to talk about every month. We are now reading .... more book club info here.


Talking Books - a free library service available to U.S. citizens whose low vision, blindness, or physical handicap makes it difficult to read a standard printed page. Talking Books' books are recorded on tape cassettes. Participating libraries mail the material (audio books and equipment) free of charge.


Trinity Braille Ministry

Braille: literary, music, United Methodist literature; thermoforming; spiral binding; embossing. Sponsors transcribing classes, maintains book-master collection.

Trinity United Methodist Church

3104 West Glendale Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85051
(602) 973-1415




These are manual or electronic machines allowing users to key out pages of Braille.

Old Perkins Brailler new Perkins Brailler To see just a few of the many sorts of Braille machines, check the descriptions and prices of these ones listed on



Computers allow special programs (i.e. Jaws) to "read" emails, webpages, word processing, spreadsheet documents.


Accessible World - seeking to educate by providing highly relevant information about new products, services, and training opportunities


Audio Description Project - this website collects and provides information on audio description in all its forms:  live theatre, television, movies, DVDs, and more.


Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind

Recording: general, local news and recreational material; open-reel masters; 4-track cassette duplication

9447 North 99th Avenue, Peoria, AZ 85345

(602) 933-0985


RFB&D Recording Studio - Recording educational texts for students in kindergarten through postgraduate studies; 4-track cassette duplication.

3627 East Indian School Road, Suite 108, Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 468-9144  fax (602) 553-0226


Sun Sounds of Arizona - provides free access to print for the print impaired via radio, Internet and telephone. The service gives listeners access to newspapers, best sellers, electronic ads, local grocery ads and much more.





The Hadley School for the Blind is a distance education school that was founded in 1920 by William Hadley. The school and offers courses free of charge to its blind and visually impaired students as well as their families and affordable tuition courses to blindness professionals. MORE...