Services for visually impaired people

Services for visually impaired people


We have a large selection of eAudiobooks available to download FREE from BorrowBox.

If you need help to access the service please follow the simple guide on how to access, register and download the digital content


We have a large selection of eBooks available to download FREE from BorrowBox. The font size can be adjusted depending on the device you are using.

If you need help to access the service please follow the simple guide on how to access and download the digital content 

Large print books

All of our libraries have a selection of fiction and non-fiction books available for adults and children.


There are spoken work or talking books available for adults and children on CD and Playaway.

Reading Group

The VIP reading group is for people who are blind or partially sighted.  The group meet on the first Monday in the month at 1pm in City Library.  For further information please email or speak to a member of staff.

Computer facilities

City Library has a dedicated area on level  3 for use by visually impaired people or others with additional needs. The computer has specialist software and hardware to aid visually impaired people if required. A height adjustable desk provides computer access using screen reader software Supernova. A big keys keyboard, keyboard overlay and trackball are also available as well as an electronic book and document magnifier.

Supernova software

This is magnifying and reading software for use with Windows applications, the internet and email. It recognises and reads text and graphics including icons, buttons and menus. It can magnify the computer display up to 32 times in a choice of styles. It can also control colour, contrast and brightness to suit individual needs.

Large keyboard

This keyboard has a large simple layout that is easy to see, read and press. The keys are 4 times normal size and the black lettering is 10 times as big on a standard keyboard. It can also be used with a keyboard overlay. This has rounded holes to guide fingers to the correct keys whilst providing support to the rest of the hand.


Trackballs are useful for people who find a mouse difficult or painful to use.

Electronic book and document magnifier

Available to increase size of print.

Home Delivery Service

The service is available to anyone living in Newcastle who is unable to visit their local library due to either permanent or temporary ill health or has a permanent disability.

To apply please email Kenton Library at 

British Wireless for the Blind Fund

Newcastle Libraries is an agent for the BWBF who provide high quality, easy to use audio equipment which has been specially designed and adapted for listeners living with sight loss. Equipment is available on free loan to blind and partially sighted people who meet the following criteria:

  • resident in the UK
  • registered blind or partially sighted
  • over the age of 8
  • in receipt of a means tested benefit

For further information email

Other organisations offering help and support

Calibre Audio Library is a national charity lending free audiobooks to anyone who is print disabled.

ClearVision (Children’s Braille Library) is a postal lending library of children's books in print and braille, and tactile books, designed to be shared by visually impaired and sighted children and adults.

Newcastle Vision Support formerly Newcastle Society for Blind People, help visually impaired people to become and to remain independent through information and learning activities.

Reading Sight provides support to anyone with an interest in helping people with sight loss to access reading and reading services.

RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) is one of the UK's leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

Vision & Hearing Support supports people with visual impairment in Gateshead, South Tyneside and surrounding areas.

Talking News Federation exists to support and assist over 300 local Talking Newspapers to deliver local news and information in audio to blind, partially sighted and print disabled people.

Talking Newspapers more than 200 popular and best-selling publications are available from RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind).

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