Learning Ally (https://learningally.org/) was formerly known as Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. This organization noticed a problem that audiobooks created the traditional way didn’t do enough. While books were created from text-to-speech, this didn’t deal with the problem of illustrations or figures in books. The online volunteers here help by typing in the descriptions of figures or illustrations into the text. This allows the students to get a more complete book, not just the text of the books.


There are a few different roles that you can take on as a volunteer. You can be a narrator, helping to bring books alive to the readers. If you have specific knowledge or expertise in a field, you can also narrate for textbooks. Listener volunteers will listen to the audiobook to offer feedback for the narrators, on the audio quality, and feedback on problems with fluency, tone, and mispronunciations. Then there is the quality assurance volunteer. This volunteer makes sure that the audiobook offers a reading experience that is enjoyable.

By volunteering here, you get the opportunity to give students the access to the reading materials that they need to succeed. This can have a significant impact on how successful these students are.

There is no required time commitment.

The organization goes as far back as 1948, when Anne T. MacDonald wanted to help soldiers who lost their vision while at war to get an education upon returning home. This led her to encourage the New York Library’s Women’s Auxiliary to record audio version of textbooks on vinyl phonograph discs. This eventually became the organization known as Recording for the Blind.

If you are interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity or to signed up as a volunteer, you can visit this site: https://learningally.org/Get-Involved/Volunteer-Opportunities.

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