42 Auditory Books on Tape for Students with Disabilities


Chapter Revision Date:

42.1 Introduction

Books on Tape were originally designed for students with visual impairments. They would also be an appropriate accommodation for students with learning disabilities who can comprehend grade level information, but decode written material at a much lower level. Books on Tape help students with disabilities access the CORE curriculum commensurate with chronological age peers, as long as their oral comprehension skills are adequate. They would not be a good accommodation for students who have difficulty processing auditory information, or those who cannot sustain the attention necessary to listen to and process the material.

42.2 "Books on Tape" Libraries

There are three libraries available for books on tape to students whose IEP document the need for recorded materials. For students with learning disabilities, requirements for access are different for each of the libraries and are explained below and on the "Books on Tape" chart.

  1. The California State Department of Education through the Clearinghouse forSpecialized Media and Technology (CSMT)

Telephone Number: (916) 445-5103

Loans state adopted recorded textbooks K-8 and the supplemental student libraries for those adoptions.

Only school personnel may order recorded books. No documentation is required. Books are available on 2-track (standard) or 4-track tapes. There is no charge. CSMT does not supply the tape recorders. Book orders can be sent by mail, phone, or FAX. The state code number which can be found in the catalog on the CSMT web must be included in the order.

Web site: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/pn/sm/

  1. Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D)

Telephone Number: (800) 221-4792RFB&D

Loansrecorded books to students grade 5 and above. It has an extensive library of recreational reading books and textbooks on tape. Books are recorded on 4-track tapes only. RFB&D does not supply the tape recorders. Their catalog is available on-line and in print. Web site http://www.rfbd.org/

Documentation of a disability that prevents reading standard printed materials is required. The disability must be documented by a professional in the field of disability services: medicine, education, psychology, or a related area. For learning disabilities, the student's special education teacher may be the certifying authority.

The Special Education Programs Division has a membership contract and can borrow books on tape for Resource Specialists and SDC teachers whose students need them. The institutional membership limits the division's ability to order books ONLY for the individual whose IEP indicates recorded books are needed to gain access to or progress in classroom curriculum. The district must maintain documentation for each student user.

To request a book on tape from RFB&D, all of the following steps must be completed:

  • A copy of the IEP and the completed Books on Tape Request Form must be sent or faxed to:

Judie Kelly, Supervising Program Specialist

Special Education Administration Program Support Satellite

Marston, B-6

Fax: 858-490-8459

  • The Books on Tape Request Form must be completed

Be sure to include the TITLE, AUTHOR, PUBLISHER, COPYRIGHT and ISBN NUMBER on the form. Include name and phone number of requesting teacher.

If you send the request via school mail, you must address the envelope exactly as listed above.

  • The requesting teacher is notified by telephone call or e-mail when the book is received.

If RFB&D has the book in stock, it will take a week to 10 days for it to be delivered. If all copies are checked out, the order will be placed on a waiting list. No books will be ordered unless a current IEP is on file documenting the need for books on tape.

Not ALL textbooks and supplemental readers are recorded.

  1. The Braille Institute Library

Telephone: (800) 808-2555

Has recreational reading books and magazines on tape at all grade levels and for adults. They DO NOTprovide textbooks. For students with learning disabilities, a reading disability must be documented by a medical doctor. Tapes are 4-tracks only, and there is no charge. More information available at:

Web site: http://www.braillelibrary.org

Applications are for an individual user and can be submitted by the doctor, nurse, librarian, or social worker.Parents should be encouraged to enroll their child and place their orders directly with Braille Institute.

42.3 General Information

All the tapes ordered through the Special Education Services Office will be inventoried and checked out to the special education staff member who placed the request.

All tapes ordered through the Special Education Services Office must be returned to the Judie Kelly, Special Education Administration Program Support Satellite - Marston B-6,when the student is finished with the book. Books will be checked in and returned to the appropriate agency. Please, do not return the tapes directly to the loaning agency. The tapes are on loan and are not district property.

Ordering Books On Tape Chart


(Call for applications)

CA State Dept of Education/CSMT


Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic/RFB&D


Braille Institute Library

(sub-regional library of Library of Congress)


Grade Level


Grade 5 and above



State adoptions K-8.



Recreational reading

W/state adoptions only







Tape players required

2 track (standard tape player) or 4-track player.

4-track tape player only

4-track players on loan (not recording devices)


State adopted textbooks are at no cost

$75 for the first year

$25 annual renewal fee

for each year thereafter

No cost

Establish LD Eligibility

No documentation required. Ordered by school personnel.

Disability that prevents reading standard printed materials, documented by a professional in the field of disability services, education, medicine, psychology or a related area.

Reading disability from organic dysfunction, documented by a medical doctor who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines.

Application submitted by:

Schools only

Individual user; may be done by teacher. Institutional memberships available.

Individual user; may be done by teacher. Services may be provided through public libraries.

On-Line Catalog





National database of books and materials in specialized media (including Braille, large print and tapes):http://www.aph.org/louis.htm

Processing applications and orders can take 6-8 weeks.

To record texts not readily available, RFB&D requires mailing 2 copies of requested textbook. May apply to Braille Institute to obtain 4-track tape player (not recorder) to access free 4-track textbooks on tape.

Some sources for 4-track tape players:

  • ILA

200 Robbins Lane
Jericho , NY 11753

  • LS&S

PO Box 673
Northbrook, IL 60065

  • Maxi-Aids

PO Box 3209
Farmingdale, NY 11735