City of Cape Town partners with Tape Aids to provide access to audiobooks

The display at Bellville Library. Picture: Supplied

The display at Bellville Library. Picture: Supplied

Published Oct 3, 2022


Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has collaborated with non-profit organisation Tape Aids for Avid Readers to offer people living with disabilities access to audiobooks.

Community services and health Mayco member Patricia van der Ross said the initiative was in response to the delays caused by the postal service, which left visually impaired patrons and people living with learning disabilities such as dyslexia unable to access their audiobooks.

The initiative’s pilot project was recently launched at six of the City’s libraries, including Rondebosch, Bellville, Strand and Grassy Park.

“This means members of Tape Aids, as well as patrons of these libraries, will be able to access their talking books without having to wait for them to arrive via post. They will be able to take the CD or log on to the Tape Aids website and download the audiobook to their smartphone,” Van der Ross said.

If a patron is not a member of Tape Aids but a member of one of the City’s libraries, they can still take out audiobooks, according to the City.

The City is also offering to assist people who want to become members of Tape Aids in order to access the organisation’s services.

“The partnership between Tape Aids and the City's LIS is a testament to our commitment to raising literacy levels and building a new generation of readers. Books open up a world of escape, imagination and creativity, and we will do all we can to ensure all our residents are included,” Van der Ross said.

Since its inception, Tape Aids for Avid Readers’ audio library has seen the transformation of more than 40 000 book titles.

Through its volunteers based in various provinces across the country, the non-profit has transformed silent written pages into the spoken word in English and other South African languages.

The organisation also offers a Hear-to-Read Dual Reading Method and Talking Books where audible and visual (or tactile Braille) inputs occur simultaneously.

Cape Argus