Our library is one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest talking book libraries for people living with blindness, vision impairment or a print disability.
The collection currently contains more than 70,000 audio book titles, which are available free of charge*.
We are continually adding titles and you can submit requests for a specific book to be converted into an alternative, accessible format (eg. DAISY, large print or braille) if we do not currently have it available.
How to join the VisAbility Library
* Membership to the Library and borrowing audio books is free of charge for anyone who is a resident of Australia and who has a print disability.
You are considered to have a print disability if you are:
- Living with blindness or vision impairment.
- Unable to hold printed material, eg. books or turn pages due to a physical limitation, such as arthritis.
- Living with a perceptual disability such as dyslexia.
Downloadable audio books
Once registered as a user, you are able to download individual audio books directly from the Library website onto a smart device, computer or memory stick.
Postal lending service
If you are unable to download from the website, up to five talking books can be preloaded onto USB cartridge and posted, free of charge, through Australia Post. There are no limits to the number of cartridges you can receive.
The cartridge is then played through a DAISY player, which is a specialist machine which is able to play multiple formats.
Once you have finished the book(s), they are returned by post and reloaded with a further selection of your chosen books, taken from your recommended reading list.
Recommended reading list
Once registered as a postal user, choose your preferred genres, authors or even specific titles. The recommendations tool will then create a list of suggested books for you to read if you choose.
Authors and Genres
We have a wide selection of popular authors and genres including:
- Children’s fiction (link opens in new window)
- Cookbooks (link opens in new window)
- Crime/detective (link opens in new window)
- Fantasy (link opens in new window)
- Horror (link opens in new window)
- Romance (link opens in new window)
- Science fiction (link opens in new window)
- Dan Brown (link opens in new window)
- Patricia Cornwell (link opens in new window)
- JK Rowling, Harry Potter series (link opens in new window)
We have a selection of books written in braille (link opens in new window) that you are able to download directly from the Library, or contact us if you would prefer an embossed copy posted directly to you.
Each individual book may consist of multiple volumes due to the space required to print braille characters.
What is DAISY book format?
Our books are recorded in a special format known as DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) which is a worldwide format for digital audio books for vision impaired.
DAISY works on the same basic principles as a standard audio book, but has some additional enhanced features including:
- Embedded navigation such as search, images/graphics or skip to previous sentence, page or chapter.
- Increased sound quality – digital recording reduces background and white noise, which benefits people who have a hearing impairment. The sound quality will not deteriorate over time.
- The device will bookmark your place and pick up where you left off when you begin to read again.
How to read DAISY books
The books are designed to play through a special digital book reader, but they can also be played through a computer, smartphone MP3 player with the correct playback software installed.
There are free and paid-for versions of playback software. We have listed some of the most popular free versions for Windows, Mac, iOS and Linux below:
As our books are downloaded in zip file format Windows user will need a program to unzip them. ZIPReader is a free program for doing this.
DAISY Playback Software
The following are links to free DAISY digital talking book playback software for various computer systems.
AMIS is a software program that you can use to read DAISY books. It is self-voicing, meaning that no specialised screen-reading software is needed in order for it to be used by visually impaired people. AMIS is open source software and is provided free of charge.
A DAISY digital talking book player of audio and text/audio DAISY digital talking books
A simple audio player for MacOS X that support playlists found in our talking books.
Apple iOS (iPhone/iPod/iPad)
Voice Dream Reader
An iPhone/iPod/iPad reading application that supports DAISY along with a wide range of other formats. (Word, text, ePub, PDF, etc.)
An iPhone/iPod/iPad DAISY reader (Does not support text only books.)
Multi-platform (Windows, Apple and Linux)
Cross-platform EPUB and DAISY reader