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Audio Book Production & Availability

Information on the Audio Book Program and access to state-adopted books to help support students with disabilities.

What is the Audio Book Program?

The Clearinghouse for Specialized Media & Technology (CSMT) Production Unit oversees the Audio Production Program which uses advanced technology and to produce high-quality audio recordings of state-adopted textbooks and library books for students in kindergarten through grade eight. Audio format is available to any and all students with a disability that may benefit from this service, not simply those who are blind or have low vision. This resource helps students overcome challenges, develop independence, and connect with literature and interact meaningfully with others about that literature.

About Human and Text-To-Speech Audio Recordings

Audio recordings are produced in human voice or Text-To-Speech wave files. These are then converted to MPEG-2 Audio Layer III (MP3) files for educators to download. Recordists work with audio editors to record the content and graphics in the book. During the Text-To-Speech production, staff convert the electronic text files into a speech synthetic voice. The production team listens to the voice and will phonetically spell words or phrases to humanize the artificial pronunciation, inflection, and reading pace. Furthermore, sound quality specialists edit the human and speech synthetic voice wave files to improve audio, adjust reading speed, and remove extraneous noises, thus providing a better-quality sound recording.

Membership Eligibility and Downloading Audio Books

California Public School employees can become members and download audio books after completing the Instructional Materials Ordering and Distribution System (IMODS) Member Registration Form on the CSMT Web page. The CSMT provides educators, administrators and other school staff access to recorded books from IMODS in MP3 file format, which are downloadable and used on student computers, MP3 players, and other devices. Members also can browse recently uploaded audio books to download for students.

Locating an Audio Book

A large number of state adopted books are available for instant download through IMODS. If you need any assistance locating an audio book or would like to request a title be recorded, please email CSMT@cde.ca.gov. In the body of your email be sure to provide the book title and ISBN.

Questions: Clearinghouse for Specialized Media and Technology | csmt@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0881 
Last Reviewed: Thursday, October 10, 2019
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