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Our history

Our founder, Norma Skemp, with Angela Rippon
Our founder with Angela Rippon

The charity was founded in 1959 by Norma Skemp, after a serious car accident in 1954 caused her to virtually lose her sight. When she applied to another charity for help, she found that they could not help her because she could still ‘see something’. Norma immediately recognised a gap in provision for people with disabilities and she set up Listening Books. Since then the charity has grown and now supplies audiobooks to people with the full range of print impairments.

Since 2002, we have pioneered an educational initiative called Sound Learning. Its aim is to make educational books available in audio formats, thereby improving access to the curriculum for pupils with special needs. Click here to find out more about Sound Learning.

Today, Listening Books is at the forefront of audiobook technology. We launched our internet streaming service in 2005, shortly followed by an MP3 CD service in 2007. Then in early 2010 we introduced audiobook downloads in partnership with OverDrive. This has continued to give our members enormous quality, convenience and choice.

Follow this link to listen to an audio tribute to Norma Skemp, which was written by our chairman, Gillian Howarth, in 2003.

 

A member listening

Downloads!

Listening Books members can download thousands of fantastic titles to an iPod or other portable player!

A couple listening

MP3 CDs!

Members can choose from a huge selection of MP3 CDs which we send through the post.

Education

Streaming!

Members can listen to over a thousand audiobooks live and direct from this website through internet streaming.


General enquiries:020 7407 9417 / info@listening-books.org.uk
Library enquiries: 020 7234 0522 / library@listening-books.org.uk
Fax: 020 7403 1377
Registered charity number: 264221 Patron: Stephen Fry President: The Rt. Hon. Lady Warnock DBE
All images are © Listening Books unless otherwise stated.

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