D.C. Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

D.C. Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Hours: 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday;
9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday
Room 215, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Telephone: 202-727-2142
Videophone: 202-559-5368
Email: lbph.dcpl@dc.gov

Who We Are

The District of Columbia Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped lends recorded reading materials and players for the special four-track audio tapes to eligible individuals who are unable to read print materials due to a visual, physical or reading disability and to organizations that serve them. We are affiliated with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress and the DC Public Library.

What We Provide

Upon approval of your application (click link), we will send you books as often as you wish. The library will also supply the special players you need and mail them right to your door. There is no charge for any of the library’s services. All materials can easily be returned through the U.S. mail, postage free.

In addition to recorded books and magazines, we provide Braille books and magazines through a contract with the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library in Massachusetts.

The library also offers audio-described videos (VHS tapes and dvds). These videos contain an additional audio track that describes the key visual elements of the film for individuals unable to see the action on the screen.

Reading Materials

The library lends books in a wide array of genres and subjects, spanning everything from classics to recent bestsellers in English and other languages. Books for adults, teens and young children are available.

Newsline Audio Newspaper Service

Newsline is an electronic system that allows users to listen to newspapers and magazines through synthetic voice output via any touch-tone telephone. It is free of charge to registered library patrons and is accessed by calling either a local or toll-free telephone number.


We provide special players that play our audio format books. The newer Digital Talking Book Player will play cartridge format books and downloadable books from the BARD (Braille and Audio Recording Download) service, and the older model Recorded Cassette player will play cassette books. Both players are sent to your home free of charge. Individuals are responsible for the books and equipment lent to them, and must return equipment to the District of Columbia Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped if it is no longer needed.

Who Is Eligible

An individual is eligible if he or she:
  • Is legally blind with vision of 20/200 or less, or has a visual field no greater than 20 degrees
  • Is unable to see well enough to read with comfort for extended periods of time, even with correction
  • Has a physical limitation that makes holding a book or turning pages difficult
  • Is certified by a medical doctor as having a reading disability that has a physical basis, which prevents him/her from reading standard print
  • Is legally blind with a profound hearing loss
Schools, libraries, hospitals, nursing and rehabilitation centers, day care programs and other agencies serving individuals who qualify may also apply. An institution may borrow equipment and materials for use by eligible individuals in either a group setting or for individual use.

How to Apply

Complete the institutional application form (click link). Be sure to provide contact information for the person who will be responsible for the materials and can verify the application. All patron and contact information will remain confidential.

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