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Resources for Books on Tape
Q: Recently a reader asked what sources are available for her intelligent high-school son who was reading at the third-grade level. There's a very inexpensive service that could help her and her son: Reading for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D). I imagine they would be able to refer her to a location that serves her area. I'm hopeful this information will be of use to her and future readers.
A: The national toll-free number for Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic is 1-800-221-4792. In order to use this service, it's necessary to have a documented disability (including a learning disability) that makes reading standard print difficult or impossible. Once the disability is documented, the person is eligible to use RFB&D's taped textbooks. In order to access the library, you need to become a member for a small fee. They offer two types of membership: individual and institutional. Students may join as individual members or become a member through their school if the school has an annual institutional membership. Some students become members through their school and also maintain an individual membership. Applications for this service are available at their website.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped also offers popular literature and magazines to people with reading disabilities. The disability needs to be documented by a medical doctor. This service also provides the playback equipment needed to listen to the tapes. The service sends the tapes free through the mail and includes free mailers for return. For more information, call their central office at 202-707-5100.
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.