Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Talking Books and E-readers

You can listen to books in different ways.

What does it do?

Recorded audio books have been available for decades. Devices changed over time to play from recordings produced on albums, tapes, compact disks (CD) and digital formats. The National Talking Book Service provides members with a desktop book player with large tactile buttons and spoken directions. Books provided by this service come to your home on a cartridge that is inserted into a slot for playback. Portable Talking Book Players are small devices about the size of a TV remote control. Books can be transferred to portable device or books can be downloaded by connecting to a computer or wireless network. Other narrated books include those from services such as or from borrowing from your local library service. Another book reading device are e Readers such as the Kindle. Devices like these can display books in various font sizes, background colors and can be read aloud by a computer-generated speech if the author has given permission. There are also apps on a tablet or smartphone that can perform the same access as devices described above.

What kinds of talking books or e-readers are there?

  • National Talking Book Service Book Player
  • Humanware Victor Reader Stream or Trek
  • Hims Inc. Blaze ET and Blaze -EZ
  • Kindle Book Reader from Amazon
  • Apps on tablets or smartphones

A video from the Library of Congress

A stack of books with a smartphone leaning against them. There iare earphones around the smartphone.

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

Narrated Book, Talking Book Players

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Jule Ann Lieberman

Jule Ann Lieberman has earned her Master of Science in Low Vision Therapy, is dual certified by Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals ( as Low Vision Therapist and Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist. Jule Ann began her work in assistive technology instructing blind and low vision adults in the use of assistive technology in 1998. She joined TechOWL, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University (formerly known as Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology) in 2013 as Assistive Technology Specialist and continues to provide information and assistance, consultation, demonstrations, and public awareness training in the use of assistive technology. Jule Ann has presented educational sessions at national and regional assistive technology conferences for many years. She has been legally blind with a progressive vision impairment since age of 16 and enjoys learning new technologies and how it meets the needs of those with vision loss and blindness.

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