It is easy for me to recommend the use of audio books to enable learners with dyslexia to access rich text structures, vocabulary, storylines, author’s craft, etc. without the barrier of print. I do it on every report I write.

However, I am well aware that the reality is not so straightforward. There are some children who so loathe appearing to be different that they prefer to turn the pages of a book of which very little is accessible to them. There are some who find just sitting and listening far too stressful. Others don’t have the concentration to focus on the spoken word for any length of time.

And we haven’t even touched upon the difficulties inherent in locating a quiet place, or headphones, or a CD player or available computer or ….

Despite this, I am flagging up here an audio library that can be accessed at home (for free) and at school (for very little outlay).

Calibre  is a charitable organisation that distributes audio books in various formats to people with reading difficulties – whether it’s those with sight problems, dyslexia or other disabilities that prevent them reading a print book. They offer a wide choice of fiction and non-fiction (about 1400 titles) on standard cassettes, MP3 disks and USB memory sticks, for both children and adults. The service is easy to use and is absolutely FREE.

Parents only have to complete a form declaring that the child has dyslexia. No one checks as the charity works completely on trust.

Try it out.