A young patron enjoys a talking book

Services for the Blind & Physically Disabled

The State Library of Ohio provides access to reading materials to individuals with disabilities through several programs. The State Library, along with the Cleveland Public Library and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provide audio, braille and downloadable books to eligible residents. In addition the State Library and the Ohio School for the Deaf partner to provide the Deafness Outreach Collection maintained at the State Library.

Library service for the blind and physically handicapped in the United States is delivered through a network of libraries and agencies coordinated by the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).

The Talking Book Program provides free recorded books, magazines and playback equipment to approximately 15,000 eligible blind, visually impaired, physically disabled and reading disabled Ohio residents.

Our Talking Book Program coordinates the Ohio program and serves as the machine lending agency for the state. To help in this effort, we have signed formal agreements with 61 machine sub-lending agencies, local public libraries or social service organizations to lend the machines to eligible citizens in their areas. A network of volunteer repair persons work with the staff of the Talking Book Program to keep the equipment in good condition.

The talking books are circulated by the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled in Cleveland. Funding is provided by a combination of federal, state and local funds.


Apply now for our Talking Book services:


Any eligible Ohio resident


Nursing homes, senior centers, hospitals, adult day care, etc.

Documentation of Registered Individual Students

To provide a list of names of eligible students who will be using library materials and equipment assigned to your institution or school.

Certification of Eligibility

For new individual student certification

For more information

The State Library of Ohio Talking Book Program
1–800–686–1531 (Ohio only) or 1-614-644–6895


Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled
17121 Lake Shore Blvd.
Cleveland, OH. 44110-4006

Promotional Display Materials

Display items for promoting the Ohio Talking Book Program and the Ohio Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled:

  • Brochures in plastic holder
  • Container for mailing the book on digital cartridge
  • 17” x 22” poster
  • Digital Talking Book player
  • Book on digital cartridge (inside player)
  • 81/2” x 11” Tabletop easel

For More information About Display Items

Contact Will Reed, OLBPD Manager
17121 Lake Shore Blvd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44110-4006
1-216-623-2911 or Toll-Free: 1-800-362-1262

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about the resources available for our blind and physically disabled patrons? Visit the Online Public Access Catalog to browse available materials. You can also consult our Digital Talking Book FAQs (PDF and Word).

Learn more about the Consumer Advisory Committee for Ohio Library Service to the Blind and Physically Disabled.

See our Disabilities Topic Guide for help finding journals, books, eBooks and other materials available at the State Library of Ohio.

NLS works to ensure that all may read by providing eligible patrons access to NLS materials regardless of age, economic circumstances, or technical expertise.

The Center for Outreach Services located at the Ohio School for the Deaf, and the State Library of Ohio collaborate to bring a collection of Deafness and interpreting-related materials to all Ohioans. Through this partnership, OSD purchases and provides materials to the State Library. In return, the State Library maintains and provides easy access to this collection through the State Library’s online catalog. This collection is targeted toward interpreters, American Sign Language students, parents and professionals working within the deaf community. The Center for Outreach Services provides resources of interest to K-12 deaf educators, interpreters and parents in a variety of formats (books, DVDs, CD-Roms, VHS tapes). The State Library of Ohio catalogues and maintains circulation of these items for use by individuals across the state. The Deafness collection currently contains over 400 items.

Any Ohio resident can request a card to borrow items from the State Library of Ohio or borrow items housed at the State Library through interlibrary loan at their local library. Individuals on the mailing list for the Center for Outreach Services, however, are eligible for a State Library card with the special privilege of having items mailed to them at no cost (individuals are responsible for the return shipping on the item). The items are housed as a separate collection at the State Library of Ohio in downtown Columbus where they can be browsed by State Library patrons.

To browse available materials click here for the Deafness & Outreach Collection.

See our Disabilities Topic Guide for help finding journals, books, eBooks and other materials available at the State Library of Ohio.

The Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled was featured in this recent American Library Association video. See how public libraries make independence possible in our communities.

Visit http://www.ilovelibraries.org/librariestransform to learn more.