When we usually talk about blind people or, some say, visual impairment, people often think of braille, walking stick, and guide dogs to assist them. But what we sometimes forget is how the aid for the visually impaired has evolved through the years. As we know it, visual impairment has been recorded since Biblical times. But when 1260 came, there was documentation that the first institutions for the blind were established by King Louis the Ninth of France. Though braille wasn’t available during that time, people could create ways to develop literacy by creating a writing system through silk and pinpricks embroidered onto cardboard.
Amazingly, blind people, these days have already grown immensely due to the support they received beforehand. As far as people know, Hellen Keller was the first deaf/blind to receive a college degree, and this proves that disability has not held these people back. In addition to this, a person with a disability can also perform various activities that can pass the time, wherein they can learn and improve their skills.
Audio Websites for the Visually Impaired
As we know it, the visually impaired community primarily relied on braille when trying to learn something. But as technology grew, audiobooks and podcasts came into the scene and provided a new avenue for the community. Here is a list of websites you can check out:
- SimplyAudio – It’s like a library, but for audiobooks. For one time fee, you’ll get access to loads of audiobooks. When you’re finished with one audiobook, return it and get a new one. Like I said, library.
- AudioBooks.com – Familiar with Audible? Netflix? If you are, then this one is like a combination of the two. For a subscription fee, you’ll be able to stream audiobooks instead of just downloading them. You can also switch from one device to another without losing where you left off.
- Books Free – You don’t have a device to download or stream audiobooks online? With Books Free, you can create a list of books you want to listen to, and it will be delivered to you in CD Format. You can keep them as long as you want, but if you’re going to get a new set of books, you need to return them first then get a new one.
- Open Culture – This one contains large numbers of books and courses you can enjoy for free. Again, at no cost!
- Podio Books – The website has a different approach for its reader. It offers books from independent authors and gives readers an option to donate to them as well. The author gets 75 percent, and the rest goes to the website. You won’t be just enjoying a good read but also supporting a starting author.
- LibriVox – The thing about Audiobooks is the audios are mostly computer-generated, but with LibriVox, the audiobooks are voiced by volunteers. Though using the workforce, the files are mainly free.
- Learn Out Loud – If you’re that type of person who often listens to motivational speakers and such, well, this site contains roughly 5,000 audio collections. Inspirational talks, interviews and, speeches you can get for less than a dollar.
- EMusic – Music Junkie? Well, this site offers various music selections. For a membership fee, you’ll get 24 credits for an audiobook that costs a credit. Great deal if you ask me.
- NewFiction – If you are looking for something new or a twist, this site might have the one you’re looking for. This site offers titles you won’t find anywhere else.
- Public Libraries – Libraries were able to adjust with the rise of audiobooks. So, most of them are not just offering hardbound books but audiobook files as well. Just go to your local public library and ask for more information.
- Special mention; Audible – As far as audiobooks are concerned, Audible has been around for some time, and they were able to adjust to the needs of our Visually Impaired Community. You’ll be able to purchase or maybe find free audiobook titles on their website as well.
Visually Impaired and the World
By the end of the day, it will be up to the people to help each other out. The system that visually impaired people are using already evolved so much that they can get feats they weren’t getting before. Let’s all continue to build a community where people with disabilities can live and strive like the rest of us.