Young readers under 18 who are blind, have low vision, or have a physical or reading disability that prevents their use of regular print materials can enroll in NLS. And once enrolled they can download books and begin reading right away using BARD or the BARD Mobile app, or get audio books or hard-copy braille books delivered by mail free of charge from their NLS network library.
From dinosaurs, mummies, and wizards to family, friends, and school—the NLS collection includes more than 10,000 books for young readers on a countless variety of subjects. Search for titles specifically for preschoolers through young adults in the Kids Zone Catalog. Children’s books are also listed in the full NLS Catalog. The BARD website also has a subject (in a pulldown menu) for Young Adult that can be selected to find those titles fast and ready for download.
Magazines such as Jack and Jill, Cricket and Sports Illustrated Kids are also available from NLS. Find more on the Magazines in Special Media, which lists periodicals in a variety of formats, including digital audio, digital download, digital text, electronic braille, large print, and press braille.
With so many choices, it’s hard to know where to begin. To help, NLS produces book lists of accessible books for children and teens on specific topics. Here are a few:
YALSA’s 2022 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, compiles this list of notable commercial audio recordings significant to teens.
Newbery Award and Honor Books in the NLS Collection
These titles have been recognized by the American Library Association as “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”
The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Lists nine titles in the “Little House” series in the order which they should be read.
Other minibibliographies of interest to young readers include:
- Animal Mysteries, Kindergarten to Grade 9
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- PRINT/BRAILLE: Folklore and Fairy Tales
- Uncontracted Braille for Children
NLS also has resources for students, teachers, and parents:
Disability Awareness for Children Pre-K through Sixth Grade Ref Guide is a descriptive listing of books, games, and activities that educate children with and without disabilities on disability awareness, people-first language, sign language, and braille.
Resources for Parents of Blind and Low-Vision Children lists resources for parents of children who are blind or low vision, such as support organizations for parents, sports and athletic organizations for blind and low-vision athletes, as well as federal and state government agencies.
Twenty Books that Promote Disability Awareness for Children Pre-K through Sixth Grade is a descriptive listing of books that educate children with and without disabilities on disability awareness, people-first language, sign language, and braille.
Talking Books and Reading Disabilities
Shares information about eligibility and the application process for the NLS program as well as information about services and materials outside of NLS for those with print disabilities.
About Braille Reference Guide shares general information about the history of braille, the life of Louis Braille, the braille alphabet, technological advances in braille, and braille educators and producers.
Braille Embossers provides an alphabetical listing of braille embossers, which are similar to ink printers but emboss braille characters onto paper for tactile reading, listing machines for personal use at home, the office, or mass production.
Braille Information lists information related to NLS resources including music materials in braille, braille courses and certification, braille magazines and publishers, and other resources.
Braille Literacy for Children, Teens, and Adults covers a broad scope of resources for learning braille, and its resources are organization by the age of the prospective learner.
Braille Resources for Transcribers and Teachers of Braille covers resources for braille transcribers and teachers, covering literary braille, music, foreign language, and scientific notations.
Accessible Cultural Heritage Institutions for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Washington, DC provides information on free cultural institutions located in Washington, DC, and details the accessible experiences they offer to visitors who are blind or have a visual impairment.
Travel and Recreation for the Visually Impaired and Physically Disabled provides information for people of all ages with mobility and sensory disabilities who wish to travel and includes information on accessible lodging, apps and technologies, and accessible sports, museums, cruise lines, and traveling with animals.
Video Gaming Accessibility Reference Guide curates the work and products of individuals and organizations who have taken up the challenge of adapting or modifying games and controllers for people with disabilities.
And here are other organizations that provide reading materials such as textbooks:
Learning Ally External — a national nonprofit with a 65+ year history of providing audio textbooks and other literature to students and veterans.
Bookshare External — an accessible online library of content for people with print disabilities