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How Audiobooks Can Benefit Children and Young Adults with Physical Disabilities

This post has been written by Kate Renaud at Calibre Audio Library, who will be exhibiting at Kidz to Adultz South in Farnborough on stand V32.

Reading a book is such a pleasurable experience but for many accessing printed books is not possible. Audiobooks can offer a practical solution, bringing this enjoyment to those that are restricted by physical disabilities.

Whether it is reading for pleasure or education, listening to audiobooks is beneficial to children and young adults in all sorts of ways. It can help them socially, emotionally and practically as well as being a learning tool. Perhaps most importantly, listening to books can be a great source of joy.

Audiobooks as a learning tool

For those in education, audiobooks can be listened to and studied in the same way printed books can. They enable children to develop literacy skills, explore new worlds and increase their understanding of the one around them. They give children with disabilities equal access to knowledge so they can reap the same rewards from reading as their friends.

Calibre Audio Library has over 3,000 unique titles for children and young readers, grouped by key stage and study level for guidance. Young members can also borrow from the 8,000 more in the main library so they can select the books that appeal to them across all ages, interests and genres. From the latest books by popular authors and stories about animals, to self-help and science fiction – the list goes on. This allows Calibre members to access the same books as their peers, either to support their learning goals or for enjoyment.

Thank you for providing such an excellent and valuable service to my son Steven. He really does get a great deal of pleasure listening to your books. The world of literature would not be accessible to him without your help and support.

– Parent of a Calibre member

Audiobooks and wellbeing

Just as with adults, physical problems in children and young adults can lead to secondary disabilities such as depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, as well as loneliness and isolation. Research has shown that audiobooks can provide relief from these conditions.

Audiobooks offer much-needed companionship. They help connect listeners with the wider community they may be unable to otherwise access, as well as link them with others who are similar to themselves. Books shrink the world and make it accessible to all.

Audiobooks can promote independence

For those that are limited physically, audiobooks can also provide independent access to reading and therefore the associated benefits. Listeners are not dependent on someone else to read to them, they can use specialist tools such as our download app to play audiobooks themselves. For many, this small piece of independence and control can have a genuine uplift of spirit.

Many thanks for all your help in making it possible for Victoria to have your books with me helping her on her new (tablet). This brings her so much happiness.

– Parent of a Calibre member

Calibre Audio Librarycalibre audio library logo

Calibre Audio Library is an audiobook charity for those unable to access printed books, whether it is from sight loss, dyslexia or a physical disability. Our audiobooks are produced in multiple formats to suit all needs; they can be streamed online, downloaded using Calibre’s free app or borrowed via our free postal service on CD and memory stick. We also sell accessible memory stick players that are easy to use with simple controls.

A lifetime membership is just a one-off payment of £20 (including VAT) for under 16’s and £35 for adults, with no monthly subscription. Group membership packages for care homes, schools and other organisations are also available.

Visit www.calibre.org.uk or call our membership services team on 01296 432 339 to join or for more information.

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