Acquiring Audio AEM

Audio format are educational materials converted into human-voice recordings or computer-synthesized Text-to-Speech (TTS) content. For the purpose of acquiring Audio Accessible Educational Materials – (AEM), we provide this information about acquiring human-voice recorded content only. If the student can use TTS, please see the acquisition information about Digit Text as this content can be converted with text-to-speech software.

The following are sources for acquiring human-voice recorded Audio AEM:

Learning Ally

Learning Ally logoLearning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic – RFB&D) provides human-narrated textbooks, as well as thousands of other books for individuals with qualifying print disabilities. Learning Ally is the only resource for school textbooks in human-recorded Audio format.

Acquisition of AEM from Learning Ally requires a School Membership which is fee-based; individual memberships for qualified students are free. Learning Ally has also been designated by Maine as a NIMAC Authorized User.

Visit the Membership Section of the Learning Ally website  to learn more about school membership and how to acquire AEM in Audio format.

Maine State Library Service

Maine State Library in AugustaThe Maine State Library Service’s Talking Books Program is a Federally-funded program which provides recorded books and special players free to persons who are blind, visually impaired, physically handicapped (cannot hold a book) or who have a reading disability.

The Maine State Library is a NIMAC Authorized User. Please contact the Library for more information about this service.

For assistance, please contact Chris Boynton, Outreach/Special Services Coordinator by e-mail at or by calling 207-287-5653.

Notes and other alternatives

Book Publishers:

Many publishers of instructional materials are now making their materials available in accessible formats. Schools are encouraged to ask sales staff from these companies for lists of AEM that they can purchase. When book orders are placed, schools should request that these materials be placed in the NIMAC.

If a publisher has a accessible format of a copyrighted material, such as a textbook or contemporary novel, available for sale, it can be purchased and used by any student. That is, it does not have to be reserved for the sole use of a student with a print disability.

Volunteer’s Voice Recording

A school volunteer may make a high-quality voice recording of copyrighted materials for students with qualifying print disabilities.  If a material is in the Public Domain, licensed under Creative Commons, or teacher-created, a voice recording can be made available to all students.

The Maine State Library has a recording booth available for voice recorders. The process of creating a quality recording can be lengthy, therefore plenty of time will need to be devoted to this task. For more information, please contact Chris Boynton, Outreach/Special Services Coordinator at or by calling 207-287-5653.

Free Online Collections Available for Use by All Students

The following on-line resources may be able to provide free online books in Audio format. All of the following are external links:

Commercial Purchase for Use by All Students

Photo Credit: Image of Maine State Library is licensed through Creative Commons by Wikimedia

rev: 09/04/2020