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 may apply to hold deposit collections to provide ready access to recorded and braille books and magazines for eligible students, clients, or patients who can share equipment or who require temporary service.

Our collection contains playback equipment for talking books as well as representative titles selected for their potential interest to the clients of the institution. As a general rule, the local braille and talking book library will assign one piece of equipment for every four eligible individuals at the institution.

What types of institutions are eligible?

Typically, deposit collections are located in schools for the blind, nursing homes, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. Public or private schools may also apply to hold deposit collections; however, the students in public or private schools must be certified as eligible on an individual basis and must be the direct and only recipients of the materials and equipment.

*Information and definitions provided by the National Library Service (NLS).