I’ve received a few emails from readers asking about nonvisual entertainment and ideas for listening to different types of content that goes beyond the typical listening to music or listening to an audiobook. There are a ton of different types of audio content for blind and low vision listeners that are engaging to listen to and that has a large online community for discussion, including members that are sighted as well as those that are visually impaired. Here are my favorite audio and nonvisual entertainment ideas for blind and low vision listeners.
Audio dramas and fictional podcasts
Audio dramas are fully scripted, scored, and sound designed performances that usually are divided into multiple episodes and seasons. There are a ton of different genres for audio dramas and fictional podcasts, including sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, comedy, and even audio dramas targeted at children. The most comprehensive list of audio dramas I have found is on the Audio-Drama wiki linked below, though users can also browse an audio drama/fictional podcast category on their favorite podcast website.
- Audio-Drama.com [Audio-Drama.com]
- BBC Sounds – Categories – Drama
- How Amazon Alexa Can Help You Listen To History
Audio-plays and audio theater
Audio-plays and audio theater are similar to audio dramas, but I listed them as a separate category here because a lot of the audio plays I have listened to consisted of one long performance, instead of being broken up into multiple episodes. Audible Theater offers a large collection of original plays, and LA Theater Works also sells MP3 recordings of several of their plays.
- Audio Theatre Central
- L.A. Theatre Works | LATW
- Audible Theater | Audible.com
- Watching Twelfth Night With Audio Description From The National Theatre
True crime and investigative podcasts
Admittedly, I don’t like listening to true crime podcasts or content, but I know this is a popular genre for many people. Several news outlets such as NBC and CNN also host investigative or in-depth podcasts that cover various topics from the past and present. BBC4 has a great podcast called More Or Less: Behind The Stats that breaks down different studies and topics in the news.
- BBC Radio 4 – More or Less: Behind the Stats – Downloads
- How Amazon Alexa Can Help You Study For Exams
Voice controlled games on smart speakers
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have several options for audio games available for users- one of my friends has raved about playing Skyrim on their Echo Dot, though I have not played this myself. Other games that I’ve played with friends on a Google Home device include Ding Dong Coconut, Riddle Room, and Voice Quest, but my all-time favorite game is SongPop, which encourages users to guess which song is playing.
Exploring new genres and playlists for music
When one of my friends was recovering from eye surgery, they told me about how they had been checking out different genres and playlists for music that they had never heard of before, such as international music and instrumental music on their favorite instruments. The Radio Garden website is a great source for listening to music from all over the world, though there are also a ton of curated stations and playlists on Amazon Music and Spotify.
Museum podcasts and exhibit explorations
Many museums offer podcasts and in-depth exhibit exploration tracks so users can listen to descriptions of various exhibits and items on display. Some media outlets like NPR and BBC also offer audio podcasts that feature different museums on each episode, while others go in-depth on one museum or location.
- Visiting The Museum of Modern Art With Vision Loss
- How To Make Virtual Museums Accessible For Visual Impairments
Listening to cooking podcasts
Want to try a new recipe? Cooking and food podcasts are one of my favorite things to listen to, as I can get ideas for new ingredients and foods to try. A lot of my favorite food podcasts focus more on the history of food and ingredients rather than recipes, but there are still podcasts and audio tracks that focus on audio-based recipes. For those who are more interested in the history and culture around food, some of my favorites include Gravy, A Taste of the Past, and Gastropod.
Finding high-quality audiobooks
Even though I like using my Amazon Alexa to help me read and find the synthesized voice helpful, sometimes I want to find an audiobook that will fully immerse me in the story and make me excited to keep reading. After listening to the incredible audiobook version of Daisy Jones and the Six, I started reading the AudioFile Magazine website that shares reviews of various audio titles and the best audiobooks. These titles are available with a paid Audible subscription, but my favorite way to find professionally narrated audiobooks is with the Libby app/OverDrive, which is available free with a library card.
- Sora Free Audiobook Summer Reading Programs
- AudioFile Magazine – Audiobook Sync
- Reading Magazines With The Libby App And Low Vision
- My Favorite Digital Library Resources For Low Vision
Audio workout programs
There are a few options for audio workout and fitness programs, and I’ve written about several options on my website. One is Eyes Free Fitness, which is a series of free audio workout tracks on YouTube from BlindAlive and is designed for people with vision loss. Another is creating custom workouts with Alexa Skill Blueprints, which is a great option for people who already know what type of workout they want to do.
More ideas for audio based and nonvisual entertainment
- I listen to a lot of audio entertainment on smart speakers like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which are controlled with the voice. Learn more at Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: Smart Speakers
- Looking for visual entertainment that can be accessed in a nonvisual way? Visit my Audio Description Archives | Veronica With Four Eyes (veroniiiica.com)
- I have no association with any of the content providers that are featured in this post. There are no age verification tools for content, so it is important for parents to use discretion when determining if a featured track is appropriate, as what may be appropriate for one listener may not be appropriate for another.