Texas Talking Books Program - How to Sign Up

The Talking Book Program

Reading books is a leisurely hobby that is shared by many of the residents at Evergreen Cottages. Some read for fun and others as a continued quest for knowledge. Unfortunately, being stricken with dementia has robbed some of our residents the ability to sit and enjoy a good book.

Part of our daily activity schedule is reading with our residents. Group reading exercises create some new challenges since residents are in different stages of their dementia and Alzheimer's journey with varying cognitive levels being displayed. Interests in subject matter also vary from resident to resident.

This makes audiobooks and other mediums very important to help our residents continue to enjoy the things that they used to do.

A prime example of this is the Talking Book Program by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. According to their website, “The Talking Book Program (TBP) provides free library services to qualifying Texans with visual, physical, or reading disabilities.” The talking book program has a pretty extensive catalogue of audiobooks from different languages including Spanish, French, German, Russian, and other languages.

To be eligible for the program, the resident must be

legally blind (vision in the better eye is 20/200 or less after correction, or the widest diameter of visual field is no greater than 20 degrees); have prescription glasses, yet are unable to read standard print material without additional magnification devices; have physical limitations that prevent them from holding books or turning pages; or have reading disabilities due to an organic dysfunction, as certified by a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.).

An application is required for those residents meeting the qualifications for the program based on the criteria above. Generally speaking most if not all memory care community residents and assisted living residents easily meet the Talking book program requirements.

The most important part of the application form is that it needs to be signed by a “certifying authority”. According to the Talking Book Program website, a certifying authority is “defined to include doctors of medicine and osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, vocational rehabilitation counselors, home teachers, and superintendents).” The registered nurses at Evergreen Cottages can certify the application form, simplifying the process.

Evergreen Cottages utilizes the Talking Book Program for various residents as a way to provide the enjoyment of reading a book. A good book has the power to take the reader to special places and the Talking Book Program has allowed us to continue this for our residents. If you have a loved one who you believe would enjoy this or can benefit from it, feel to reach out to the Evergreen Cottages team and we will gladly help you give back the gift of enjoying a good story back to your loved one.

The application form can be submitted multiple ways. Please visit Evergreen Cottages " Family Resource Page" by clicking on the link below to find the contact information for the Talking Book Program in Texas.


Author: Allan Soledad LVN is the executive director of Evergreen Cottages "Magnolia Cottage" in Katy Texas. He can be contacted by email here: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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