Residents of South Carolina who are unable to read or use regular print materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical limitations may receive Talking Book Services through the South Carolina State Library.

This includes those who are blind, have a qualifying visual, physical, or reading disability that prevents them from reading or handling print materials. Patrons of all ages are welcome to enroll and use the Talking Book Services. Schools and medical facilities are also eligible to apply for service as institutions, if they serve individuals who have qualifying conditions.

Who qualifies?

The following people are eligible for service: residents of the United States, including territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia, and American citizens living abroad, provided they meet one of the following criteria:

  • An individual who is blind or has a visual impairment that makes them unable to comfortably read print books;
  • An individual who has a perceptual or reading disability; or
  • An individual who has a physical disability that makes it hard to hold or manipulate a book or to focus or move the eyes as needed to read a print book. 

Who qualifies as a "competent authority"?

Competent authorities may include:

Doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, psychologists, registered nurses, therapists, or professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (such as educators, social workers, case workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, certified reading specialists, school psychologists, superintendents, or librarians).

What does it mean to apply as an institution?

Institutions are encouraged to register for their own BARD account for ready access to downloadable audio materials through the BARD mobile app. For individual access, patrons can apply for personal Talking Book accounts to receive tailored service.  If desired, institutions may also request one digital audiobook player and a small curated collection of recorded books on digital cartridges for the short-term use of residents or as a teaching tool.

What types of institutions are eligible?

Institutions who serve individuals with qualifying conditions can have institutional accounts with TBS. These may include but are not limited to: schools for the blind, public or private schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. Students must be certified as eligible on an individual basis and must be the direct and only recipients of the materials and equipment.