Accessibility of reading
Reading everything – from a cash machine screen, to a newspaper, to a book – can become impossible if you lose your sight. This is why wearing dots to raise lots for RNIB Read is so important.
Close your eyes for a minute.
Now try reading a letter or sending an email.
Difficult isn’t it?
Currently blind and partially sighted readers face a dramatically limited choice of book titles.
Only seven per cent of books are available in large print, unabridged audio and braille, including titles available in these formats as eBooks (RNIB 2011b). That means that 93 per cent of books are not fully accessible to blind and partially sighted people.
We’re changing the story
We are working at changing the story for blind and partially sighted people and opening up the world of reading for everyone.
RNIB reading services
Our National Library Service enables blind and partially sighted readers to borrow fiction and non-fiction titles in braille and giant print, and includes our much-loved Talking Book Service with nearly 40,000 members and over 20,000 titles in audio. And our National Talking Newspapers and Magazines Service delivers over 230 publications in accessible formats.
We have a strong track record of working with publishers, authors, literary agents, and technical companies to maximise the potential of eBooks and eBook reading devices. We campaign to ensure that they are as accessible to blind and partially sighted people as they are to sighted people. We make sure they understand how important it is for all books, magazines and newspapers to be available to everyone in the UK.
What reading means to me
Charlotte loves receiving books from RNIB’s library. It makes it possible for her to read the same books as her friends. She loves reading and currently her favourite books are the Harry Potter series.” - Mum of Charlotte, registered blind and a braille reader.
Luckily I joined RNIB’s Talking Book Service. Just the thought of not being able to read again was totally devastating so getting hold of talking books was truly a lifeline for me, especially in the early days when I was getting used to being blind, trying to find a new life and new routines. The Talking Book Service was the first thing that made me feel that I was back in the land of the living.”- Sue was an English teacher and lost her sight a year before she was due to retire.
I’ve always been the same. If I haven’t got a book it’s like I’ve lost a limb. It’s just part of me.”- Shirley, who has macular degeneration.
I use talking books purely for escapism. I remember reading my first one and falling in love with them. It’s enabled me to read what everyone else is reading so I’m not excluded. My wife talks about a book and I can now join in the discussion because I can read it too.”- Peter, Wales.
Children talk about what reading means to them.
How you can help
Register for RNIB Read and wear dots to raise lots. You can help us change the story and get everyone on the same page.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0845 345 0054 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).