Finding Adapted Textbooks and Other Reading Materials

Textbooks or other books and resources that your students might need may have already been adapted for students with print impairments. Here are some resources to try. Some of these resources are commercial and fee-based; others are free.
Note: Digital files can usually be used in audio format. Check the compatibility of file types against the student’s equipment before ordering.

Alaska Center for Accessible Materials (AKCAM): This grant is for making education accessible for Alaskans with print disabilities. It is housed at SESA, located in Anchorage. It is connected to the federally funded National Center for Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) program, which has a digital repository of textbooks in the NIMAS format. This is a great starting place for Alaskan educators seeking materials for students.

NOTE: This list will change, as resources are developed and changed continually.

Source & Notes





Publisher: It’s always worth going directly to the source first. If they are a textbook publisher, and they don’t have it in the NIMAC, they should be moving in that direction. Hearing directly from teachers, schools and districts will provide incentive for them.
American Printing House for the Blind
Quota funds may be used for some materials, but not all; student must be eligible according to APH guidelines to use quota funds, but materials can be ordered for any student using real money.
X X (elec-
X X ascii,
Hosted by the APH website, but lists materials available from vendors/producers other than APH.
National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped – Library of Congress:
(Local branch: Alaska Talking Book Center, below)
X web-
X X (web documents)
Alaska State Library Talking Book Center
The Alaska State Library Talking Book Center is a cooperative effort between the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Alaska State Library, and the Utah State Library to provide Alaskans who cannot read standard print with talking books and Braille service. Sign up with the Alaska Talking Book Center to get started. Free downloads, free shipping, requires registration.
Free for qualifying students and K12 schools, fees for other types of memberships; unlimited access. Has textbooks; works with NIMAC.
X – via screen .brf X X daisy, others
Learning Ally (formerly Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic):
Individual (free) or school (fee) memberships; need to qualify; current materials ; need DAISY playback device.
Listen Alaska
Free materials in several formats; library card required for checkout (limited time). Available through many Alaskan libraries.
X – WMA, MP3, music X (ebook, Adobe)
Project Gutenberg
All materials are in the public domain.
Free audiobooks; titles are all in the public domain.
Library Reproduction Service
Can be an Accessible Media Producer, producing NIMAS files.
Books are not necessarily searchable digital format; this may be more for pleasure reading/audiobooks. Some Alaska libraries provide these for free via listenalaska, above.
X X (ebook)
Daisy Consortium
Audio and text with images combined, with easy navigation. Can convert to large print or Braille.
X X daisy
National Federation of the Blind:
Many resources on Braille literacy, with some materials available online in audio format as well.
ascii Gr2
Tiflonexos(Spanish and other languages)
Digital library for Spanish-speaking individuals.
National Braille Press SEARCH VIA LOUIS.
Portabook (file on disk, grade 2 braille), hardcopy, production service.
X –LP + braille X, eBraille X –eBraille can be converted
Membership fees vary; current books, magazines, newspapers. Mac or PC, or mobile audio devices.
X – digital
CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology)
Has some downloadable books; has more information on creating accessible materials (UDL).
Texas School for the Blind
Includes some downloadable Braille files.
X: abt, meg, dxb, brf
Many Books
Free; information on compatible devices; handheld, Mac or PC. All materials are in the public domain, or under Creative Commons.
pdf, pdb, others
Classic Bookshelf
Out of copyright materials (public domain); interface to read online, set bookmarks, change appearance. No audio format.
X – online only, onscreen
Free. Literature, reference and verse. Public domain; out of copyright.
X – via screenreader X
Books Aloud:
No charge, but you need to be eligible.
X – cassette, CD
Accessible Book Collection:
High interest, low reading level digital text; individual must qualify. Includes materials to use with Classroom Suite, Clicker 5, Boardmaker. Site subscription, $49.95. No limit on number of books; copyright materials.
X- html, which can convert
Universal Digital Library:
Digitized books in multiple languages; full text of pre-1923 (out of copyright); in-copyright books have title page and 10% of the pages. Entire books can’t be downloaded in current TIFF format; all will be converted to PDF. This was a project by Carnegie-Mellon University. It ended in 2008, but materials are still available.
Online library of books and articles; unlimited use; tools for note-taking. Fee for service. Works on iPhone or iPodTouch.
X – online
(Windows only) This is a free text-to-speech program.
Learn Out Loud:
Audio books and educational materials available for a fee. (monthly fees are $12.95-19.95, depending on the plan).There are some free materials as well.
Assistive Media:
An internet-delivered audio reading service for people with visual or perceptual reading impairments. Most are long-form articles from mainstream periodicals.
X- mp3

Other links that might be helpful:
The National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials has an AIM Navigator, designed to be used by IEP teams and other collaborative teams. The team needs to have an Internet connection, and can choose to use an email address or not. You simply enter information as prompted.
For help in finding assistive technology tools for students, try TechMatrix:

Updated April 2020