Eligibility Criteria for Loan Service
Eligibility Criteria

Any resident of Connecticut who is unable to read or use normal print materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical disability may receive service through the Connecticut State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) and the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS).

This includes the following people:

  • Blind individuals whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is
    20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective lenses, or whose widest diameter of
    visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
  • Individuals with other physical disabilities, including:
    • Those whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical
      measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of
      standard printed material.
    • Those certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use
      standard printed material as a result of physical limitations.
    • Those certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting
      from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading
      printed material normally.
Certifying Authorities

Eligibility must be certified by one of the following: doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, ophthalmologist, optometrist, psychologist, registered nurse, therapist, or professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (such as an educator, social worker, case worker, counselor, rehabilitation teacher, certified reading specialist, school psychologist, superintendent, or librarian).

Institutions

Institutions such as schools, residential care facilities, hospitals, and other establishments regularly attended by individuals eligible for LBPH and NLS services may borrow special format reading materials and playback equipment solely for the use of persons certified as eligible, and who must be the direct and only recipients of the materials and equipment provided.

Though schools may borrow playback machines in their own name, it is preferred that eligible students be signed up individually. The student is allowed only one playback machine and is expected that it be used both at home and at school. The student will also be able to keep and use the program after moving on.

Institutions are to return playback machines and materials when no longer in use.   

What types of materials does the Library loan?

The CT Library for Accessible Books has over 105,000 items including digital audio books, braille, music, and other materials.  Topics include bestsellers, biographies, romance, mysteries, westerns, children’s books and much, much more. Browse the collection by author, title, keyword or subject online using the National Library Service’s catalog.  Digital playback equipment is on indefinite loan for as long as you use the service.

Can people use the program if they are in residential care facilities or retirement homes?
Eligible patrons may receive direct individual service in care of the facility. Direct service is always available, and this option ensure readers receive materials that they specifically want to read.
Are magazines available through the NLS program?

Magazines are available in braille and audio formats.  Magazines are circulated by mail, but some are available to eligible readers for download in e-braille or audio format from the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) program. Some titles may also be available in large print or press braille. A list of all magazines produced or distributed by the National Library Service is available on the NLS Magazine Program webpage.  

Can books or magazines be downloaded from the Internet?

Registered patrons may download digital talking books and magazines from the Internet through the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD). These materials are downloaded and transferred to digital cartridge, or to a smartphone or tablet using the BARD mobile app.  The BARD mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices, as well as Kindle Fire.  For more information visit the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website.

How are materials received from and returned to the library? 

All books, magazines, catalogs, and equipment are sent to readers through the U.S. Postal Service as "Free Matter for the Blind" and may be returned the same way. 

CT Library for Accessible Books (CT LAB) patrons wishing to physically drop off or pick up equipment or reading materials have several options.  Patrons may now visit any of the following locations during business hours:

  • 75 Van Block Avenue, Hartford (home base for deliverIT CT, the CT State Library’s statewide delivery service)
  • 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford (the State Library’s “main branch” location)
  • 786 South Main Street, Middletown (The CT Library for Accessible Books' location and the home of the State Library's Middletown Library Service Center)
  • Any public library in CT (advanced notice for pick up required, so items can be processed and delivered to the library by CT LAB).

For more information, please contact CT LAB using the contact information listed below.

Emailcsl.AccessibleBooks@ct.gov 

Telephone: (860) 704-2220

Toll Free: (800) 842-4516 

Who can certify people as eligible?

Eligibility must be certified by one of the following: doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, ophthalmologist, optometrist, psychologist, registered nurse, therapist, or professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (such as an educator, social worker, case worker, counselor, rehabilitation teacher, certified reading specialist, school psychologist, superintendent, or librarian).