Blind and Physically Handicapped/TBBS Grants Illinois State Library

Purpose and Outcomes

In Illinois, about 2.1% of the population or over 266,000 people have a vision disability and are eligible for talking books and radio information services. The Secretary of State/Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS) funds Blind and Physically Handicapped grants that result in access to information, equipment and programs for people with visual or physical limitations, unable to read standard print or hold or turn pages of reading material.

Grant projects support the Illinois Radio Information Services' daily broadcast of local news and information not generally heard on regular news broadcasts.

Participants have multiple options to access daily news, including a free program-issued radio receiver, password-protected internet web stream, or secondary audio programming on local access television. Several stations are also making broadcasts available through Amazon Alexa.

Eligible Applicants

Application and Reporting Forms

Grant applications are being offered in advance of the provision of the state budget. The State Library makes grant applications available so that award may be released when legislative and gubernatorial approval of an appropriation is made. Obligations to fund this grant program will cease immediately without penalty or further payment being required if the Illinois General Assembly or the federal funding source fails to appropriate or otherwise make available sufficient funds.

Legal Authority

Program Impact in FY 2021

Total Dollars Awarded



The Radio Information Service programming offered information and comfort to my husband when we really needed it. – Stronghurst, IL.

A listener stopped a Radio Information Service volunteer in church because he recognized her voice. He told her, “There are some days I wouldn’t get through the day without MindsEye.” – O’Fallon, IL.


For more information about Blind and Physically Handicapped/Talking Book and Braille Service grant programs, please call 800-665-5576 ext. 2 or email