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Adaptive and Accessible Technologies in Libraries: Perkins School for the Blind and Perkins Library

Improving Access to Library resources


Perkins Library

Patrons of the Perkins Library have access to a world of resources - from braille and audio books to accessible magazines and museum passes. Readers with visual impairment, blindness or physical disability are able to read independently in a format most comfortable to them.

Talking books

Talking Books

The Perkins Library offers over 75,000 audio book titles, which can be searched in the Online Catalog. The newest acquisitions are listed in the bimonthly Talking Book Topics catalog, which is also available in braille, on cartridge and in large print. Magazines on cartridge are also available for children, young adults and adults in five different languages. Most magazines are yours to keep, though some magazines are shared subscriptions and must be returned to the Library.

Talking books and playback machines are loaned to eligible Perkins Library patrons and mailed postage-free. Specialized playback equipment is required to use talking books and magazines. The Perkins Library does maintain a legacy collection of titles on 4-track cassette. Contact the Library for assistance with this collection or equipment needed to play books on cassette.

In addition to playback machines, the Library can also provide accessories to meet an individual's specialized needs, including:

  • Amplifiers for people with significant hearing loss
  • Breath switches used with a remote control unit for people with little or no use of their extremities
  • Extension levers which attach to the key controls of the cassette machine and are for persons who have difficulty using push buttons on a standard cassette player
  • Headphones for readers who reside in nursing homes, hospitals or other areas where they share spaces and speakers could be distracting to others
  • Pillow speakers which adapt to any playback machine to assist people restricted to bed
  • Remote control units for people restricted to bed or with difficulty in mobility (cassette player only)
  • USB thumb drive adapter (digital player only)
  • Cartridge adapter cable (digital player only)