Access Keys:

Christian resources and activities for blind
and partially sighted people worldwide.

Bibles in Accessible Media

Quick Links:

Introduction

Audio Bibles

Braille Bibles

Digital Bibles

Large Print Bibles

Online Bibles

Bible Library Services

Glossary

Introduction

Reading preferences

Blind and partially sighted people who cannot read standard print may use one or more accessible formats to read the Bible. Their choice may depend on their degree of sight loss, whether they are at home or in public, the amount of storage space available, how much they have to read and whether they are comfortable operating modern electronic equipment.

Purpose of this Resource

We have designed this resource to signpost people to Bibles in accessible media – audio, braille, large print, online and in various electronic formats. Some of the the Bibles are available from Torch and others a wide variety of providers. Many are available to purchase and you can even borrow some from library services.

To search for specific items such as a Bible translation, accessible format or organisation please use the Control (Ctrl) and F buttons simultaneously on your keyboard and then type in the word or phrase you are interested in.

Bible translations

People may also have a preference for a particular Bible version. Most Bible versions are translations from the original languages, although a few are paraphrases, which can be described as a retelling of the text in the author’s own words.

Information on the more popular Bible translations is available on the Bible Society website – biblesociety.org - type key translations into the search facility.

For assistance on some of the terms used please refer to our Glossary.

Abbreviations

OT - Old Testament (the first part of the Bible, before the birth of Jesus Christ.)

NT - New Testament (the second part of the Bible from the birth of Jesus Christ.)

The Bible comprises 66 books (39 in the OT and 27 in the NT).

Bible products contain the whole Bible text unless otherwise indicated. Note - some sections of the church also refer to a collection of books called the Apocrypha which are contained in some Bibles. If you require more specific information please contact Torch Trust.

Bible selections

Please note that it has only been possible to include a selection of Bibles and Bible-related products in accessible media in this publication, all in the English language.

Please contact us to notify us of any changes, corrections or additions. Although the content has been compiled with care and in good faith Torch Trust does not accept any liability for the information provided.

Prices

As prices change frequently and as products are often available on special offer we have only indicated or quoted prices in selected instances and approximate price indications are prefixed by the ~ symbol.

Where products are provided without charge to blind or partially sighted people, this is indicated as FREE. Some products are priced in US dollars and we show the approximate sterling equivalent prefixed by the ~ symbol.

Help

For assistance and further information, please email info@torchtrust.org or telephone +44 (0)1858 438260.

 

Audio Bibles

Audio recordings of the Bible are available on physical media such as Audio CD, MP3 CD, DAISY CD (Digital Accessible Information System) and a variety of portable handheld digital units. It is also available to listen to on online; for more details see the Online Bibles ection.

Audio CD & MP3 CD

DAISY CD

Digital Bibles

Audio Bibles - Audio CD & MP3 CD

For a description of the difference between an Audio CD and MP3 CD please see the glossary at the end of this listing.

Some products are available as a voice only recording of the Bible text, whereas others are dramatised, which can refer to a reading with a music background through to a full cast complete with sound effects. Many products are available with an American accent, so if a British voice is important to you then check the product information prior to ordering.

Audio and MP3 Bible CDs are available from a wide selection of Internet sites as well as from many Christian bookshops. Most Bible versions shown below can be obtained from the following suppliers:

Suppliers and versions

Eden – bibles.co.uk - telephone ordering service +44 (0)845 222 3336.

Antioch Enterprises – audio-bibles.co.uk - Internet orders only.

Additional versions are available where indicated by an asterix * below from Christian Bits – christianbits.co.uk - telephone ordering service +44 (0)1428 653853.

Some of the Bible versions and products shown below can also be sourced from Amazon – amazon.co.uk - type audio CD into the search facility.

Amplified Bible *

Authorised (King James) Bible

English Standard Version

Holman Christian Standard Bible *

Message (The)

New American Bible

New American Standard Bible

New Century Version

New International Version

New King James Version

New Living Translation

New Revised Standard Version *

Revised Standard Version *

Today's New International Version

Please note that we are not aware of any audio versions of the Jerusalem Bible or New Jerusalem Bible. However, further information may be available from the Association of Blind Catholics - contact@blindcatholics.org.uk

Aurora Ministries in USA - provides the following versions FREE on MP3 CD – audiobiblesfortheblind.org

King James (Authorised) Bible

New King James Version

Audio - cassette

The cassettes featured are voice only unless otherwise indicated.

Although the range of Bibles available on cassette is now fairly small, second hand copies can often be found on amazon.co.uk and ebay.co.uk

Please note that Torch Trust no longer supplies the Bible on cassette for purchase, although it is available to borrow from our library.

Authorised (King James) Bible

Aurora Ministries (USA) - FREE (registration required) – audiobiblesfortheblind.org/international-service/

The Message

Eden - bibles.co.uk NT on 15 cassettes; ISBN 9781589260870 - ~£30

New American Standard Bible

Christian Books (USA) – NT – christianbook.com

New King James Version

Aurora Ministries (USA) - FREE (registration required) – audiobiblesfortheblind.org/internationalservice/

Eden - bibles.co.uk on 48 cassettes; ISBN 9781565637689 - ~£50

Audio Bibles - DAISY CD

For information on the DAISY standard and DAISY players please refer to the glossary at the end of this listing. DAISY discs can be played on a DAISY player or on a computer with DAISY software installed. In addition, the disc or computer file content can be transferred to a portable daisy device or, sometimes with less daisy navigation options, to many modern smartphones and media players.  Free open-source daisy playback software called AMIS is available for download to your computer from the Daisy Consortium - daisy.org/amis

All the products shown below are voice only.

Authorised (King James) Bible

Torch Trust - British voices - £9.99 – torchtrust.org

Also available from RNIB

New King James Version

Aurora Ministries (USA) – download: DAISY 2.02 format - FREE – audiobiblesfortheblind.org

Today’s New International Version

Torch Trust - whole Bible: British voices - £15.99 - torchtrust.org

Also available from RNIB

Please note that due to its complexity, some DAISY software (such as AMIS) and some of the smaller portable daisy players have difficulty coping with the number of files that make up a complete DAISY Bible. Please contact us for further information on +44 (0)1858 438260.

Association for the Blind of Western Australia provide Bible DAISY files for free download – for more information and translations see - guidedogswa.org/books/scriptures/

Audio Bibles - Digital

All the devices featured in this section can be described as portable or handheld. They all have the Bible pre-loaded (and some have a choice of pre-loaded versions). For specific product information including details of battery or mains use, synthetic or human voices please contact Torch Trust or view the manufacturer or supplier web sites as shown below.

Authorised (King James) Bible

Bible Courier - available from Computer Room Services: synthetic voice - £130 – comproom.secured-area.co.uk/acatalog/Talking_Bibles

Bible Courier - available from Lutheran Braille Evangelism Association (USA): synthetic voice - ~£50 – users.qwest.net/~lbea/Bible Courier

GoBible – available from Computer Room Services - comproom.secured-area.co.uk/acatalog/Talking_Bibles - £60 ex VAT (Note that the manufacturer’s web site has audio instructions for the visually impaired - gobible.com/visually-impaired-instructions)

iPod nano - available from Voxbiblia - ~£185 – voxbiblia.com/mp3players

Talking Bible - icdri.org/Articles/talkingbibles_2.htm - available from Computer Room Services: American voice - £70 – comproom.co.uk

New American Standard Bible

Megavoice – megavoice.com - Envoy model is available from Torch Trust: American voice - £40 (or £50 with mains adapter)

New International Version

GoBible – available from Computer Room Services - comproom.secured-area.co.uk/acatalog/Talking_Bibles - £60 ex VAT (Note that the manufacturer’s web site has audio instructions for the visually impaired - gobible.com/visually-impaired-instructions)

iPod nano - available from Voxbiblia: British voices; OT abridged - ~£185 – voxbiblia.com/mp3players

New King James Version

GoBible – available from Computer Room Services - comproom.secured-area.co.uk/acatalog/Talking_Bibles - £60 ex VAT (Note that the manufacturer’s web site has audio instructions for the visually impaired - gobible.com/visually-impaired-instructions)

Talking Bible - icdri.org/Articles/talkingbibles - available from Computer Room Services: American voice - £70 - comproom.co.uk

Today’s New International Version

iPod nano - available from Voxbiblia: British voices - ~£185 - voxbiblia.com/mp3players

Braille Bibles

Braille is a system of raised dots, which can be read by touch. It is used by up to 10% of people who are registered as blind. Printed (or embossed) braille is bulky, but is hugely valued as it offers a reading experience similar to print. Braille can also be stored and read electronically on specialist equipment.

Two main forms of braille exist - uncontracted (formerly called grade 1) and contracted (formerly called grade 2). All the resources shown below are contracted braille unless otherwise stated.

For information on braille Bibles available for electronic braille display devices please refer to the Online section of this listing.

As braille is a more specialised method of production the listing in this section is by provider first, then by Bible translation.

Royal National Institute of Blind People

rnib.org.uk or telephone 0303 123 9999

Authorised (King James) Bible

Good News Bible

Jerusalem Bible

New International Version

New Revised Standard Version

Revised Standard Version

RSV - only some volumes available.

The books are supplied in a number of separate volumes with varying prices. For example, the whole Bible New International Version is available for registered blind and partially sighted people in 69 volumes, priced at £50. The Authorised (King James) Bible costs ~£65.

The RNIB book site catalogue can be searched for Bibles - booksite.rnib.org.uk - click on search for books (and enter Bible in the search facility) or browse categories (then adult non-fiction, religion and spirituality and Christianity).

Lutheran Braille Workers (USA)

lbwinc.org

Bible volumes are printed on request using a network of volunteers and can take a number of months to produce. Orders can be submitted for a whole Bible set, NT, OT or individual Bible books.

New Century Version (International Children's Bible)

Uncontracted braille: 40 volumes – FREE

New International Version

Contracted braille: 37 volumes - FREE

Torch Trust

torchtrust.org or telephone +44 (0)1858 438260

New International Version

Torch Trust produces braille "pocket size" bible portions:

Ruth, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians & Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus & Philemon, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John & Jude - FREE

Braille Bibles International (USA)

braillebibles.org

Authorised (King James) Bible

FREE

New King James Version

FREE

Beginner’s Bible

In 9 hardbound volumes containing 95 Bible stories. Suitable for children age 1 to 6 - FREE.

This book of bible stories made especially for families with either a blind child or a blind parent is just like any other, complete with pictures, except that a clear sheet of plastic with braille on it has been inserted between the pages so that the stories can be read either in braille or in print. 

Children’s Bible

In 4 hardbound volumes containing 365 Bible stories. Suitable for children age 7 to 12 - FREE

More braille Bibles

Braille bibles are also available from Bibles for the Blind (USA) – biblesfortheblind.org

Torch Trust has established a fund to provide braille Bibles for Africa. If you would like more information or to support this initiative please contact Torch on +44 (0)1858 438260.

Digital Bibles

There is a growing range of gigital equipment (such as the Kindle) that can be accessed by people with sight loss and on which the Bible is available, in addition to a wide range of freely available eBooks in ePub format.Examples of eBook readers include the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader Touch and Kobo. For blind and partially sighted users there are pros and cons for each.

eBook readers do not come pre-loaded with Bible content and they are primarily designed to provide a text alternative to print books.

RNIB's web site – rnib.org.uk - has a guide to eBook readers - type eBook readers in the search facility.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon has a number of Bible versions for download only to the Kindle, including:

Authorised (King James) Bible

English Standard Version

New American Standard Bible

New International Version (2011 edition)

see also hodderbibles.co.uk/niv-ebook

New King James Version

There are also a number of other less-known versions available.

Kindle books can also be read by using a computer. For accessibility information go to amazon.com/kindle/accessibility where you will find details of text-to-speech reading with adjustable voice settings, voice-guided menu navigation, large font sizes, high contrast reading mode and more.

Sony Reader and other ePub readers

There are also some older bible versions available for the Sony Reader, especially in the epub format. Details can be found at ereaderbibles.com

New International Version

Available from zondervan.com - enter NIV Sony eReader in the search facility.

Large Print Bibles

Print varies in type size, depending on the publisher and audience. RNIB's See it Right initiative recommends that type size for clear print should be 14 point and large print should range from 16 to 22 point. Torch Trust produces giant print Bibles that have a type size of 24 point.

For people losing their sight, a large or giant print Bible can be the first step in helping someone to maintain their devotional spiritual life.

There is no universally accepted definition of large print or giant print. See the introduction to accessible media section at the beginning of this listing for more information. The numbers below refer to the point (pt) size.

To find alternative suppliers and prices go to amazon.co.uk - and type the Bible's ISBN number in the search facility. Please note that the same Bibles are often produced in different editions and so have different ISBN numbers.

Authorised (King James) Version

Cambridge University Press – cambridge.org/bibles

Gospels and Psalms: 22pt; ISBN 9780521510707 - £10

New Testament: 22pt; ISBN 9780521871716 - ~£20

Trinitarian Bible Society - tbs-sales.org

Psalms: 17pt; ISBN 9781862282889 - £3.95

Gospel of John: 17pt; ISBN 9781862282773 - £1.20

Whole Bible: 22pt; 4 volumes, ISBN 9780907861775 - £42.50

Eden – bibles.co.uk

Whole Bible: 14pt; publisher Thomas Nelson, ISBN 9780840717313 - ~£19

English Standard Version

Eden – bibles.co.uk

Whole Bible: Various type sizes (max 14pt)

Good News Bible

The following is available from Christian Book - christianbook.com

NT, Psalms and Proverbs: 17pt; publisher American Bible Society, ISBN 9781585160334 - ~£15

Please note that the Standard Large Print edition of Good News Bible available on the Bible Society web site has a typeface of less than 12 pt.

Jerusalem Bible

Catholic Truth Society – cts-online.org.uk

Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: 14pt; individual volumes - £2.50 each

New International Version

Hodder & Stoughton published the revised translation of the NIV in 2011 – for more information on the differences between the 1978 and 2011 translations visit niv-cbt.org/niv-2011/translators-notes

Please note that the Cambridge University Press large print (18pt) 4 volume NIV (ISBN 9780521508773) has been out of print since 2008, although some suppliers may still have limited stocks and second hand copies may be found on amazon.co.uk or ebay.co.uk

In addition, Torch Trust has a few of the Cambridge NT volumes in varying conditions available for purchase at £20. Please telephone +44 (0)1858 438260 for details.

Christian Bits – christianbits.co.uk

Whole Bible: 16pt; publisher Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 9780340955543 - ~£40 (available from Bible Society - shop.biblesociety.org.uk)

Gideons International – gideons.org.uk

New Testament & Psalms: 19pt. Gideons present Bibles through their local branches. Call the national office in Lutterworth on +44 (0)1455 554241 or email hq@gideons.org.uk for more information or to request a copy.

Lutheran Braille Workers – lbwinc.org

Whole Bible: 18pt - FREE

Torch Trust – torchtrust.org

Whole Bible: 24pt; 19 volume hardback - £85, individual volumes £5

Whole Bible: 24pt; 37 volumes softback - £50, individual volumes £1.50 and £3.

 

New King James Version

Eden – bibles.co.uk

Whole Bible: 14pt; publisher Thomas Nelson, ISBN 9780840713704 - ~£12

New Living Translation

Eden - bibles.co.uk

Whole Bible: 14pt; publisher Tyndale House, ISBN 9781414319865 - ~£45

New Revised Standard Version

Cambridge University Press – cambridge.org/bibles

Whole Bible: 18pt; 4 volumes, ISBN 9780521508780 - £80

Bible Society - shop.biblesociety.org.uk

Whole Bible: 14pt; ISBN 9780564094349 - ~£30 or, with deuterocanonical books, ISBN 9780564094448 - ~£32

Online Bibles

Audio - downloads and streaming

Audio - online Bible readings

Electronic braille

HTML

Downloadable Bible software

There are an increasing number of websites containing the Bible in different translations. Some of these sites are accessible to blind and partially sighted people.

Electronic text files are usually accessed via computer, either by download from the Internet or from a CD Rom, and read using a braille display, screen magnifier or text-to-speech facilities. Further explanation of these accessibility aids is available on RNIB's web site - rnib.org.uk - type hardware products or magnification software into the search facility.

There is a wide variety of ways of accessing the Bible online. As the Internet is used by an increasing number of people with sight loss and as web sites become more accessible, we have included a wide variety of sources of Bibles in the following section.

To tackle the problem of inaccessible web sites, by giving feedback to those responsible, a quick and easy reporting service called fix the web is available. Users with sight loss are encouraged to complete a simple form at fixtheweb.net – alternatively email post@fixtheweb.net and provide the information you have.

We cannot guarantee that the web sites mentioned here are all fully accessible to blind or partially sighted people. If you have responsibility for the web site of your organisation we recommend you read RNIB's guidance available on their web site – rnib.org.uk - type web access centre in the search facility.

Bible Gateway

biblegateway.com is accessible and works with most screen readers. It allows the user to look up various Bible translations and to search for specific passages. It streams the audio with an American voice and requires Adobe Flash Player.

Unbound Bible

unboundbible.org is similar to Bible Gateway and also allows the user to look up various Bible translations and to search for specific passages.

Online - audio download and streaming

An audio Bible can be accessed as a download (where the audio file is stored on the computer or portable electronic device) or by streaming (where the audio file is stored by the supplier and listened to 'live' by the subscriber).

In most instances the audio files are in MP3 format. Files that are streamed may require specific software such as Real Playerrealplayer.com - or Adobe Flash Playeradobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html

A number of the following translations are available from Faith Comes by Hearing both as audio downloads (free software programme required to play) and for streaming - faithcomesbyhearing.com/ambassador/free-audio-bible-download

Authorised (King James) Bible

Audible - download: dramatised – audible.co.uk

Audio Bible - streaming: requires Real Player software - FREE – audio-bible.com/blind.html 

Aurora Ministries - download: FREE – audiobiblesfortheblind.org

iTunes - download: voice only, dramatised - apple.com/itunes

Voxbiblia - download: British voice – voxbiblia.com

Selections from the King James Bible are available from Voxbiblia on a FREE basis either for download or streaming – voxbiblia.com/albums

English Standard Version

Audible - download: American voice – audible.co.uk

Audio Bibles - download: voice only – audiobible.com

iTunes - download: voice only – apple.com/itunes

Voxbiblia (Listener's Bible) - download – voxbiblia.com

Good News Bible

Faith Comes by Hearing - see details above

Message (The)

Audio Bibles - download – audiobible.com

New American Standard Bible

Audio Bibles - download: voice only - audiobible.com

New International Version

Audible - download: dramatised; OT unabridged – audible.co.uk

iTunes – NT: dramatised – apple.com/itunes

Voxbiblia - download: British voices; OT abridged, complete NT download – voxbiblia.com

Voxbiblia - streaming: 1 year subscription; British voices, OT abridged and complete NT download – voxbiblia.com

New King James Version

Aurora Ministries – download: FREE – audiobiblesfortheblind.org

A wide range of editions, both voice only and dramatised, are available for download from Thomas Nelson (priced in US dollars) and Audible (priced in £ sterling)

iTunes - download: voice only; dramatised – apple.com/itunes

New Revised Standard Version

Audio Bibles - download: American voice – biblebible.com

Today's New International Version

iTunes - dramatised – apple.com/itunes

Voxbiblia - download: British voices – voxbiblia.com

Voxbiblia - streaming 1 year subscription: British voices – voxbiblia.com

iTunes also provides free bible 'apps' for the iPhone and iPad which enables streaming of the translations listed above - and many more - as part of a phone package. Please enquire as to how accessible these apps are for people with sight loss.

There are alternatives to apps from iTunes (Apple) and these include Android (from Google) which provide a range of Bibles and Bible study programmes. Search google.co.uk for android apps bible

Online - Bible readings

Bible readings in audio are available online from, among others:

Wordlive – wordlive.org

Part of Scripture Union, Wordlive provides daily readings from the Contemporary English Version. The podcast option also provides for comment on the selected passage with suggested responses. Registration required - FREE.

UCB Bible – ucbmedia.co.uk

This is a ministry of United Christian Broadcasters and available online, on DAB digital radio or on satellite channel 0134. UCB Bible provides scheduled readings from both the Authorised (King James) Version and the New International Version.

Torch Trust also makes available daily streamed readings of Every Day with Jesus (from CWR) and Daily Bread (from Scripture Union). Registration required - telephone +44 (0)1858 438260

Online - electronic braille

Authorised (King James) Bible

Bibles for the Blind (USA) - provides files free of charge that can be downloaded for use with braille displays, text to speech devices or braille embossers - biblesfortheblind.org

Also see entry below for online html format from Optasia Ministry. This can be used on a refreshable braille display (e.g. BrailleNote or Victor Stream Reader) or on a PC (using a web browser).

Optasia Ministry also provides downloads specifically in braille format for the following:

Good News Bible

Authorised (King James) Bible

Today's New International Version

Online - html

Optasia Ministry - optasiaministry.org - offers 24 versions of the bible (many of which are available for use outside USA). These run in Internet explorer (you need to go online to download the Bibles but do not then need to be online to use them). Registration required, but all Bible versions are free. Versions include:

Contemporary English Version

Good News Bible

Authorised (King James) Bible

New American Standard Bible

New International Version

New King James Version

The Message

Today's New International Version

Optasia also offers 15 versions in their bible collection which allows users to easily compare readings in different translations. This collection also includes:

New American Bible

New Jerusalem Bible

Some Bible versions are also available from optasiaministry.org in txt and rtf formats.

Online - downloadable Bible software

Theophilos for the Visually Impaired – theophilos.sk

Theophilos is an application for Bible and Christian study. It has been developed with built-in accessibility for visually impaired users (requiring jaws for windows v3.2 or higher). It includes the text of the Authorised (King James) Bible as well as Matthew Henry's Concise Bible Commentary, Easton's Bible Dictionary and other resources. Further library resources can be purchased on CD Rom from USA with additional Bible translations. Additional downloadable add-on modules for Theophilos can be purchased online, including:

English Standard Version

New American Standard Bible

New International Version

Theophilos is available at theophilos.sk - for the visually impaired section use this link theophilos.sk/jfw.htm

Online Bible – onlinebible.org

The Online Bible has been designed as an online resource to function with leading screen readers for the visually impaired. It is also available in DVD format - although feedback of the latest release of the DVD (version 4; 2010 edition; compatible with windows 7) suggests that some users have experienced difficulties.

The basic programme is free to use - and among the wealth of free resources are more than 30 English Bible versions including:

Authorised (King James) Bible

English Standard Version

The Message

New King James Version

Some additional versions require a royalty payment to unlock and include:

New American Standard Bible

New International Version

New Revised Standard Version

Bible Library Services

Please also see the section on Bible-based material for Children.

Audio

Calibre audio library

calibre.org.uk

The following Bible versions from Calibre are available on cassette:

Authorised (King James) Bible

Jerusalem Bible

Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (also available on MP3 CD)

Revised standard version

New Testament only

Torch Trust

torchtrust.org

The following Bible versions from Torch Trust are available on cassette unless otherwise indicated:

Living Bible

Hosea to Malachi and the New Testament.

Revised Standard Version

The following Bible versions from Torch Trust are available on DAISY:

Today's New International Version

Authorised (King James) Bible

For information about the Torch Trust library service please email info@torchtrust.org or telephone +44 (0)1858 438266.

Braille

National library service of RNIB

Authorised (King James ) Bible

Good News Bible

Jerusalem Bible

New International Version

New Revised Standard Version

Revised Standard Version

RSV - only some volumes available

Torch Trust

Authorised (King James ) Bible

Good News Bible

New International Version

Revised Standard Version

For information about the Torch Trust library service please email info@torchtrust.org or telephone +44 (0)1858 438266.

Large print

Torch Trust

New International Version: 24pt

Revised Standard Version (hand written in capitals) - not complete Bible

For information about the Torch Trust library service please email info@torchtrust.org or telephone +44 (0)1858 438266.

Glossary

Braille display

Braille displays provide tactile output of information represented on the computer screen. Unlike conventional Braille, which is permanently embossed onto paper, refreshable Braille displays mechanically lift small, rounded plastic or metal pins as needed to form Braille characters. The user reads the Braille letters with his or her fingers, and then, after a line is read, can refresh the display to read the next line.

An example of a braille display can be found at humanware.com/en-united_kingdom – enter BrailleNote into the search facility.

DAISY

Digital Accessible Information SYstem (DAISY) is an internationally recognised standard that enables publishers to produce accessible and navigable books to meet a variety of reading needs.

DAISY enables a person to navigate through accessible media in a way comparable to how a print book would be used. For example, readers can examine the book by page, section, or chapter, or use a table of contents or an index. It is particularly well suited for those wanting to access the bible with its divisions into books, chapters and verses.

Many blind and partially sighted people encounter the daisy standard in DAISY CDs for which a special player is required. Players cost upwards of £215 ex VAT (available from RNIB or other providers). At first, a DAISY player can seem daunting to operate, but with a little practice it soon becomes the audio player of choice for many people with sight loss.

Alternatively, DAISY files or CDs can be accessed on a computer using DAISY software, some versions of which can be downloaded for free (from the DAISY consortium) or are available for purchase from organisations such as the RNIB for around £40.

Note - Audio CDs and MP3 CDs can usually be played on a DAISY player, but few DAISY CDs can be played on an MP3 player (even though DAISY CDs use the MP3 system of data compression.)

MP3 and Audio CDs

MP3 - this is a digital audio format where the data has been compressed, thereby making it possible to fit more audio on a standard CD.  An audio Bible will typically need over 60 Audio CDs but only 4 MP3 CDs. However, MP3 CDs can only be played on a CD player which has mp3 capabilities. Mp3 and Audio CDs will play on most personal computers as PCs generally come bundled with the necessary software.

MP3 is an internationally recognised system that compresses audio files by simplifying the signal, especially when there are lots of different frequencies of sound all being produced at the same time. Although this involves a loss of quality in, for example, audio music files, it is barely noticeable in audio speech files. One of the main advantages is that a CD can hold up to 16 hours of speech, compared to around one hour for an Audio CD.

You can listen to MP3 CDs on many modern Audio CD players and most DVD players. Look for the MP3 logo on the casing or refer to the instruction book that came with your machine.  However, many players go back to the beginning when you turn them off, which can be very inconvenient. It is increasingly difficult to find a player that will keep your place (often called a 'resume' function or a 'bookmark' facility), but for the latest product availability we suggest you contact Hagger Electronics – hagger.co.uk – telephone 0845 882 0505. Prices start at around £50 for a player with a resume function and around £20 for one without.

As well as being able to play MP3 CDs on computers, which will usually come preloaded with the software required, there is also a wide range of pocket sized players (such as portable DAISY players) and storage devices (such as data sticks which can be plugged into a wide variety of players) designed for MP3 files. However, you will usually need a computer to transfer the files to these devices, as they are too small to accommodate MP3 CDs.

Please bear in mind that although DAISY players have been designed for blind and partially sighted people, most MP3 players have been designed for a sighted market and therefore not all features are easily accessible (an example would be small buttons).

However, British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF) produces equipment that has been designed for those with sight loss. Their Concerto radio, for example, can play cassettes and MP3 CDs, has a bookmark facility and comes with large buttons, high contrast controls, large easy to read lcd display and 10 one touch radio station presets. Prices start at about £180.

Screen magnifier

A screen magnifier is a piece of software that magnifies what’s on the screen to make it easier to read.

Text to speech

Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. A computer system used for this purpose is called a speech synthesizer, and can be implemented in software or hardware. A text-to-speech (TTS) system converts normal language text into speech.

 

Last updated 28 July 2015 by David Shepherd
 
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