Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Free Braille Books from Xavier Society for the Blind

Xavier Society for the Blind logo

Xavier Society for the Blind provides braille, audio and large print spiritual and religious materials (mostly Catholic, but not strictly) at no cost to clients worldwide in order for them to learn about, develop and practice their Faith.  They have been around since 1900. They were founded by a priest and a lay woman, who was blind herself, and they wanted to provide braille Catechetical materials for young children preparing for their sacraments. Braille textbooks for children and adults taking religion classes still one of their biggest lines of service. 

Braille Books for Children

In addition to textbooks, they have hundreds of books in braille for children, young adults, and adults. Their entire catalog can be found on their website by clicking here.

Titles include Andy and the Albino Horse and One Family's Christmas by Mary Jean Kelso.

Andy and the Albino Horse cover  Cover of One Family's Christmas

In addition to books, they provide on a subscription basis the Propers of the Sunday Mass which are the readings, prayers and responses to the Mass on Sundays and special feast days, and two magazines by subscription entitled Catholic Review and Xavier Review. 

Audio Library

Their audiolibrary is quite extensive as well. Currently their audio books are on Mp3 disc, and can be played on a computer, DVD player, and a CD player that plays Mp3 discs. They are in the process of converting their library to digital talking book format so that they can be played on cartridge in the Talking Book players provided by the NLS, but this is an ongoing process. They provide the Propers of the Sunday Mass, Catholic Review, and Xavier Review in audio as well, and these can be downloaded from the website. In recent years they have rscaled back their large print offerings. Right now the only materials in large print they have are the New American Bible (22 font, sans-serif) and the Propers of the Sunday Mass which are downloaded from the website.

Signing Up for Services

As mentioned above, all of their services are provided at no cost to clients. In order to sign up for their materials, a one page application must be filled out and certified. The certification section at the bottom of the page requires a signature from a doctor of medicine, therapist, librarian, parish priest, or a professional staff member of a hospital, institution, or social welfare agency. If someone has a form from their doctor verifying their disability, that can be submitted with the application instead of a signature. Similarly, if he/she is a patron of another library for the blind and visually impaired and has a form from them, that will suffice as well.

Social Media

They are also on Facebook and Twitter, and are trying to spread word of their mission through those outlets. 

Posted on November 19, 2018
Updated on: November 20, 2018