The Listening Link program assists blind, visually impaired, and learning disabled students in eliminating educational barriers they face. Founded in 1992, Listening Link works with area schools and colleges, providing human-voiced recordings of textbooks and other course material required for degree completion and academic success. Volunteers provide over 2,000 hours of recorded textbooks and other educational materials that are not already available commercially or through such sources as the Library of Congress or Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) reports that 26.7% of students with visual impairments will not receive high school diplomas and of those seeking higher education, only 11.9% achieve a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Being unable to access the information necessary to complete a course or seek a degree hinders their ability to become gainfully employed, this reality reflected in a 72.3% unemployment rate for blind and visually impaired individuals.