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Reading Holiday Classics with Low Vision

Vision Rehab Podcast logo closeup of an eyeThe Vision Rehab Podcast is a short monthly podcast about topics and issues related to vision rehabilitation therapists and vision rehab. You can also listen on your smart speaker, just ask for, “Vision Rehab Podcast.”

Listen Now to Vision Rehab Podcast for November 2021, Reading Holiday Classics with Low Vision.


With the holidays fast approaching, this is a great time to talk about reading with a vision loss. One of my favorite holiday books is A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. I try to read it every year. There was a time when it was becoming very difficult to read the print version of the book because of my own low vision. Over the years I’ve discovered a number of great ways to get and read this book, and many others as well. Now, get your pen and paper or recorder out to copy some numbers.
One of the best places to get started is with the National Library Service Talking Books Program. Not only is it great, there is no cost to you and you’re eligible if you have a print disability, like low vision. They’ll send you a Talking Book Player, and mail you audio books and magazines on audio Cartridges that work with the player. When you’re done with your books, you just return them in the mail and the return postage is paid. A Christmas Carol, of course is one of the books you can get. You can call them at 888-657-7323 and if it’s easier to remember, think of 888-NLS-READ.
Other services have audio books that play on the Talking Book player, as well, Aurora Ministries, for example, will send you a complete audio bible on Talking Book cartridges, at no cost if you are unable to read because of your vision. You can reach them by phone at (941) 748-3031 or on the web at For books and magazines about the Jewish Faith, check out JBI International. By phone call (212) 889 2525, and if you’re a computer user, look them up at
As great as the Talking Books program is, there are still many other ways to read A Christmas Carol. For example, I found a free narrated audio recording of the complete text of A Christmas Carol at the Internet Archive. I’ll have a link to it on the Vision Rehab Podcast transcripts page at
Do you have an Amazon Echo handy? Well, just ask the A Lady, “Open A Christmas Carol,” to listen to an abridged version of A Christmas Carol in 2 parts. You can stop it at any time and pick up where you left off.
And the last suggestion I’ll share is to download a copy from Bookshare is a service for downloading books specifically for individuals with a print disability, like low vision. A subscription is $50 a year and lets you download up to 100 books a month at no cost to you. They have over a million titles to choose from, and A Christmas Carol, of course, is one of them. You can download it as electronic text, audio file, or braille. And here’s a tip, if you are a registered learner at, your annual subscription to BookShare is waived. For more information, call Bookshare Support at 650-644-3449.
Wow that was a lot of info! You can always find a transcript of the Vision Rehab Podcast at, but here’s a quick rundown of the phone numbers one more time.
NLS Talking Books 888-NLS-READ
Aurora Ministries (941) 748-3031
JBI International (212) 889 2525 650-644-3449



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