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The Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled provides books and other materials in alternative formats to Iowa residents of all ages who are unable to read standard print materials.


The Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled provides services to individuals who fall into any of the following categories:

  1. Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
  2. Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material
  3. Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations.
  4. Persons certified by competent authority as having a perceptual or reading disability of sufficient severity to prevent their reading standard print.

This includes individuals who have had a qualifying disability from birth, individuals who are disabled because of medical conditions or trauma, and individuals who become disabled as they age. Individuals who have a temporary disability may qualify for service on a temporary basis. Individuals who are blind or have a physical disability and who have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States receive special priority.

Who is a “competent authority”?

Professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or private welfare agencies, such as;

  • Educator, social worker, case worker, counselor, rehabilitation teacher, certified reading specialist, school psychologist, superintendent, or librarian.
  • Doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, Ophthalmologists, Optometrist, registered nurse or therapist.

Institution Accounts

Institutions—such as assisted living communities, hospitals, public libraries, schools for students who are blind or have a visual impairment, public and private schools, and college or university disability centers—may borrow equipment and reading materials for use by eligible readers to use individually or in a group setting. The institution is responsible for keeping a record of the serial numbers of all machines assigned to the institution. If residents or students choose to apply using the Individual Application, they are responsible for the equipment they borrow, not the institution.

Online Institution Library Account Application

Iowa Public Library Demonstration Site Information

Demonstration sites are key to helping our library promote services to your community.  Demonstration Sites do not circulate ILBPD materials or equipment; rather they show potential patrons and others what services are available through ILBPD.  By distributing information about our library’s services and referring prospective patrons to ILBPD, your library can help us connect to community members who can benefit from our services.