Audiobooks can make reading more accessible for everyone
Calibre Audio are a national charity which provides audiobooks to those who have a print disability. The charity began in 1974, and its platform now hosts over 12,000 audiobooks. These are available for the Calibre Audio community to stream, download, listen to on a memory stick or access via a RealSAM Pocket and Speaker.
Currently, only 7% of print books are converted to audio, which is the book format that many disabled readers require or prefer to use. For the elderly or socially isolated who are coming to terms with the loss of their sight, health and mobility, losing a lifelong love of the written word can be devastating. Calibre Audio helps to counteract this by running their free membership service to anyone who is prevented from reading because they have a print disability. This includes people with Dyslexia, those who have suffered from sight loss or a brain injury, as well as readers who might struggle to hold the weight of a physical book, because of conditions like Arthritis. Calibre Audio also have over 3,000 books available for children and young people, which can help significantly with their learning and development.
We’ve been working with Calibre Audio this year to ensure that several of the books from our programme are also available on their platform. These include books such as Alicia Garza’s The Purpose of Power, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Booker-Prize nominated Klara and the Sun, and Denise Mina’s The Long Drop which will be featured in a special performance event at the Festival on Wednesday 25 August at 8.30pm. Don’t forget all of this year’s Book Festival events will be streamed online and have a ‘pay what you can’ option. You can browse the full programme here.
We are working with care homes through our Story Nation programme to ensure that any eligible residents have the option of signing up to Calibre Audio, and we hope that many will be able to benefit listening to books on the Calibre Audio Library this summer and in the months to come.
If you think you, or someone you know, might be eligible to join the Calibre Audio community, click here to find out more.
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