The Blind Readers' Page--Main Menu


Some audio on the web must be played with the RealAudio player (not to mention also a fast processor, lots of RAM and a fast modem). The AFB provides a speech-friendly universally accessible form for downloading the player.

ACB Radio, sponsored by the American Council of the Blind, offers news, music and talk directed at blind listeners. The home page has links for easy downloading of the software needed to listen to the broadcasts. ("Overcoming disabilities with the power of the human spirit and the tools of science and technology") broadcasts live webcasts monthly and live interactive chat four times a week over the "TV on the Web" network. You'll need the latest version of RealPlayer for this. It also uses streaming video to broadcast general information and product demonstration videos that are closed-captioned and audio-described. You'll need the free Real G2 Player, which is downloadable from the Able Channel site.

Audible: offers over 10,000 hours of spoken audio programming, including audiobooks, newspapers, magazines and radio shows. The audio is downloadable to a PC or to the Audible MobilePlayer, a 3.5-ounce handheld player that holds two hours of audio for mobile playback; the prices seem to be somewhat lower than for audiocassette books.

Audio Bible offers the complete King James Bible, narrated by Alexander Scourby, in downloadable RealAudio format. They also sell a portable Audio Bible with a keyboard that uses braille characters for easy access.

AudioBooksForFree provides hundreds of free downloadable MP3 audio books. The books have brief advertisements between chapters.

Bill Sparks' "Audio, News and Info" links directory contains almost 4,000 links covering all sorts of web audio sources. Browse by category or search for a particular station, city, or state.

The Bible, in several English versions and translated into half a dozen languages, is available as MP3 downloads or CD-ROM's from AudioTreasure.

Audio-Tips: a chatroom for the disability community.

The BBC has an excellent speech-friendly site specially adapted for screen readers, giving access to the Real Audio content of the BBC News, BBC Education and the BBC World Service.

BlindKiss is the "Home of the BlindKiss Talkshow," an online talkshow with lots of attitude, most of it happily ornery: "It's the 21st century but still blind people have this rather odd reputation as being either slightly mystical (existing in a twilight world) or unapproachably scary. Well this website is here to confirm these stereotypes, make you realise we're far freakier than you first imagined and might just leave you crying on your keyboard." (formerly Audionet): links to thousands of audio programs available on the Web, including audiobooks, music, radio, TV, news and religious programming.

Dick Becker's LIVE Internet Radio Stations: links to stations featuring jazz, religious, rock, oldies music, plus news, talk and foreign language broadcasts. ncam

EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information) is webcasting a series of half-hour interview audio programs dealing with the need for universal access to the Information Age. The thirty-minute roundtable discussions will be webcast on Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Mountain and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Jim Hartley's "The 3100 Most Popular Songs of All Time" offers streaming RealAudio downloads of the songs for free and downloads that can be saved for a $36 annual fee.

Kansas Audio-Reader Network: Radio for the Blind and Print-Disabled.

Blind Line," a weekly program on web radio with news of interest to blind people and interviews with, among others, many of the mainstays of the adaptive computer industry is available on ACB Radio, along with news, sports updates, old-time radio, talk and music. sells downloadable audio books and old-time radio programs.

National Center for Accessible Media is experimenting with closed captioning and audio labelling on the Web for the benefit of deaf and blind web surfers.

National Public Radio: news, features and schedules.

The "New York Times Audio Digest," offered by Audible and, provides a daily summary of the news (all of it that's fit to print in 45 minutes of audio) on the web in MP3 format in a downloadable file, 9-10 megabytes for the whole thing, smaller downloads for individual sections.

The Old Time Radio Link Society Web Ring lists over fifty sites devoted to old time radio.

"InTouch Networks . . . is a national reading service for people who are blind, visually impaired and physically disabled and who are unable to read newspapers and magazines. Local, national and world-wide news is broadcast via the Internet, closed circuit radio and satellite 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Original Old Time Radio Page: huge amount of information but formatted in tables.

PoetryPoetry is a web site dedicated to audio poetry, pre-recorded readings by the original artists.

Radio Clicksis a fully accessible site that links to hundreds of radio stations broadcasting on the web. You can either search by name or browse a list of radio stations organized by region and country. It also includes useful advice about how to use Media Player and Real Audio.

Radio Days: "Your source for the history of nostalgic and old time radio series and news." Includes a schedule of Old Time Radio webcasts.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: broadcasting in two dozen languages to Eastern Europe and Asia, including Russian broadcasts 24 hours a day. collects hundreds and hundreds of links to radio broadcasts on the Web from all over the world. It would be easier to navigate if the clickable images were ALT-tagged, but if you absolutely crave the latest in, for instance, Macedonian news and music, here is where to find two Macedonian radio broadcasts on the Web. has free downloads of excerpts from a wide variety of spoken word texts.

Salon Audio (formerly brief selections of classic and contemporary texts, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, interviews with writers.. The site is not very accessible to blind users.

"Soundaround" (UK) is a free monthly 90-minute cassette magazine for visually handicapped people; past programs are available as web audio.

"Soundings is a free, impartial and editorially independent monthly information service for anyone in the United Kingdom who has a visual-impairment--whether they are registered or not." "Soundings explores all aspects of living with a visual-impairment in our mainly sighted world." It is also available online on ACB Radio.

Sun Sounds is a radio reading service that also broadcasts over the web.

The Text-Mode RealMedia Player (TRPlayer) is a RealMedia player for Linux which has a command-line interface instead of a graphical interface. This makes it fully accessible to blind users and others who can't use the graphical user interface or prefer the text interface. TRPlayer supports all media formats supported by RealPlayer 7 (RealAudio, RealVIdeo, MP3, etc.). In presentations which involve video and other visual media, TRPlayer plays the audio and discards the rest.

The UK Audio Network offers links to audio content freely available on the web, news from around the world, internet radio stations, sports commentaries, and narrated movies.

Voice of America: news broadcasts in 53 languages.

Winamp4TheBlind is a mailing list and has its own web site for blind people interested in the popular audio program. The site has a description of the list, subscription information, and scripts, sets and plugins that will help a user run Winamp.

"Wired for Books," a creation of the Ohio University Telecommunications Center, has audio of lectures, poetry, essays and stories, many read by the authors.

"An Investigation into the Streaming of Audio Books for the Blind" by Adrian Woodhead is the initial proposal for a more extensive research project.

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