ILLINOIS STATE LIBRARY
Blind and Physically Handicapped/Talking Book and Braille Service Grants
Purpose and Outcomes
In Illinois, about 2.3% of the population or 295,000 people have a vision disability and are eligible for the program. The Secretary of State/Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS) funds Blind and Physically Handicapped grants that result in:
- Access to information, equipment and programs for people with visual or physical limitations, unable to read standard print or hold or turn pages of reading material.
- Access to daily news, read by volunteers, heard only by obtaining a free, special radio receiver, via password protected Internet web stream or secondary audio programming on local access television.
Grant projects support the Illinois Radio Information Services' daily broadcast of local news and information not generally heard on regular news broadcasts.
- Designated Illinois Radio Information Service Stations
Application and Reporting Forms
Grant applications are being offered in advance of the provision of the state budget for fiscal year 2017. The State Library makes grant applications available so that award notification may be released when legislative and gubernatorial approval of an FY2017 appropriation is made. Obligations to fund this grant program will cease immediately without penalty or further payment being required if the Illinois General Assembly or the federal funding source fails to appropriate or otherwise make available sufficient funds.
- Grant Application
- Grant Reporting Forms
- Instructions for Completing Fillable Grant Forms
- Library Data Entry Guidelines
Program Impact in FY2015
Total Dollars Awarded
- Total includes $1,636,851 for Talking Book and Braille Services and $298,911 for Radio Information Services.
Number of Projects and Grants Awarded
- 11 Radio Information Service Stations
- 1 National Federation of the Blind for Accessible Electronic Information
- 1 Advisory and Outreach Center*
- 1 Machine Sub-Lending Agency*
- 1 Talking Book Center*
*FY2016 is the last year for these grant offerings. Beginning July 1, 2016, services will be provided by the Illinois Regional Library housed at the State Library.
Number of People Served
- 16,665 registered talking book patrons. All print-impaired Illinois residents are eligible to participate.
- Illinois residents stay engaged in life and connect to their community through listening to local news via a specialized radio receiver. The inability to read a newspaper is often the first vision loss.
- Many of the talking book service clients use it as their only educational and recreational activity, reading over 10 hours per day.
- Students can participate in reading activities for school assignments.
From Evanston: "I am returning the cassette player that you so generously sent to my husband, who is now in Hospice. The Talking Book effort is outstanding in its purpose and its service. We appreciated this avenue for enlightenment and entertainment that your efforts provided to my legally blind husband. Tax dollars well spent!"
From Galesburg: "Thank you for the gift of the earphones for my involvement in the Winter Reading Program. I can listen outside on my patio without risk of offending neighbors. The reading program is very wonderful and I thank everyone involved. When I could still see to read adequately, I read the entire 10 books of the series - I am now listening to # 1 and enjoying it even more than I did before. THANK YOU federal government, state government, all workers in every center, and the mailman who so faithfully delivers and picks up."
From Oregon: "I want to thank you for all the good books you sent to my mother-in-law. She treasured the books, often resting in her bed in the evenings when she couldn’t go to sleep. You helped her in her declining years as if someone were there with her. You were her company when others stopped coming because she wasn’t able to carry on a conversation. I appreciated this because I could then do what I needed to do at my own house next door."
For more information about Blind and Physically Handicapped/Talking Book and Braille Service grant programs, please call 217-782-9435 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blind and Physically Handicapped/Talking Book and Braille Service Grants are funded in part using Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.