Apply for Service
Once an application is received and approved, a talking book player and initial shipment of digital books will be mailed out. Players and materials are mailed at no charge as Free Matter for the Blind. Within a few weeks of the start of service, the applicant will be contacted via telephone by a Library staff member to discuss the service and answer any questions. Library staff is available in-person, by email, and by phone to assist customers with learning how to operate their players and ordering materials. Service can be provided on either a temporary or permanent basis. If an individual moves out of the OTBS@RHPL service area, the service may be transferred to the appropriate cooperating library in the National Library Service network.
Anyone residing in Oakland County who is unable to read or use standard printed materials as a result of a temporary or permanent visual or physical limitations is eligible for service from OTBS@RHPL.
- Legally Blind: Visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses or the widest diameter of visual field subtending an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees
- Deaf-Blind: Severe auditory impairment in combination with legal blindness
- Visually Impaired: Lacks visual acuity to read standard printed materials without aids or devices other than regular glasses
- Unable to hold a book or turn pages (examples include being without arms or use of arms; impaired or weakened muscle and nerve control; limitations resulting from strokes, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, polio, arthritis)
- Unable to read because of a reading disability resulting from an organic dysfunction (this disability requires the signature of a medical or osteopathic doctor as certifying authority). For more information see the NLS factsheet on Reading Disabilities.
This service is available to both individuals and/or institutions (e.g., adult foster care facilities, retirement centers, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.) who have eligible individuals among their regular clientele. Such individuals are eligible for service in the name of the institution or in their own names. Service to schools is provided directly from the Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL) in Lansing. Please contact the BTBL at 800-992-9012 if you would like to receive information on how to receive service as a school.
Who is a "certifying authority"?
In cases of blindness, visual impairment, or physical limitations, "competent authority" includes:
- Doctors of medicine and osteopathy
- Registered nurses
- Professional staffs of hospitals, institutions, and public welfare agencies (e.g. social workers, case workers, counselors, home teachers, and superintendents)
- In the absence of any of these, the form can be signed by a professional librarian or by any person whose competence under specific circumstances is acceptable to the BTBL or by NLS. (Please contact OTBS@RHPL if you have questions about "certifying authority")
- In the case of a reading disability from organic dysfunction, "competent authority" is defined as: Doctors of medicine or osteopathy only, who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines.