The SBS is a specialised library with its own production facilities. It has provided accessible books, sheet music, teaching aids, films and games to blind, visually impaired and print-disabled people for over 100 years.
The principally German-language media offering includes audio books, books and sheet music in Braille, large-print books, e-books, audio-described films, tactile games and magazines. A large number of current titles, from fiction through to non-fiction, is available for loan as well as purchase.
Our books have been designed specifically for the needs of visually impaired and print-disabled people. In our audio books, for example, you can set bookmarks, go directly to different chapters as well as set the speech rate. Our e-books allow the font size, font type and contrast to be adjusted to your needs and offer the facility for the text to be read out by a synthesised voice.
In-house production facilities
We are the only organisation in the German-speaking countries that transfers media into four accessible formats. We are also one of the few organisations in the world that produces sheet music in Braille. In addition to books for our own catalogue we also produce accessible media to order, for example teaching materials, professional documentation and other printed literature such as flyers, annual reports and business cards.
A non-profit organisation with a long history
The SBS was founded in 1903 and today employs around 75 permanent employees and 90 narrators on an hourly basis. The non-profit organisation receives approximately 50 percent of its funding from the public sector; the remainder is financed by donations, public and private commissions and by further services. The SBS has also been awarded the Zewo seal of approval; it distinguishes those non-profit organisations which manage the funds entrusted to them in a conscientious manner.
Our international services
We offer an interesting range of audio books and e-books in English. Moreover, we carry a wide range of Braille vocal and instrumental sheet music for blind musicians. We are able to transfer English documents into the desired accessible format for international organisations and companies.
Audio books and e-books in English
Our catalogue contains an exciting range of English-language audio books that have English literature as their focus. Thanks to our collaboration with Bookshare, an American online library for print disabled poeple, we also offer access to a wide range of English-language fiction and non fiction as e-books.
Our catalogue also includes a small amount of French, Italian, Latin and Spanish literature.
Braille sheet music
We are able to offer you a wide range of sheet music in Braille that the library itself has produced, as well as sheet music from other providers. We employ international standard music notation in our rendering process.
Our catalogue includes sheet music for various instruments and in different styles. Please contact us if you wish to receive a list of sheet music available for a specific instrument, by a certain composer, vocal music etc.
You can also obtain the abridged or full version of the «New International Manual of Braille Music Notation» by Bettye Krolick in German and English from us. Download the Manual in English (for braille display):
If you cannot find what you are seeking at the SBS, we will be pleased to undertake research and obtain music titles on your behalf.
Production of accessible English-language documents
Do you wish to transfer English meeting minutes, brochures, annual reports into Braille, large print, audio books or electronic text? We shall be pleased to advise you personally on telephone no. +41 43 333 32 32 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org about the various options open to you.
Loans and purchases
The SBS is available for use by blind, visually impaired and print-disabled persons in Switzerland and abroad. To register, private individuals will need proof of their disability from their physician by way of a signature/stamp on the registration form, or a medical certificate. There is a membership charge of CHF/Euro 60.00 per year (visual impairment: initial registration fee of CHF/Euro 50.00 only). Membership of the library is free for youths under 18 years.
Order books and media
You do not need to visit our library personally. Instead, you can order from the comfort of your home. We can generally send the media that you wish to loan or purchase to any location. For copyright reasons, the downloading of books from our online library is permitted only in certain countries. We will be pleased to advise you personally by telephone no. +41 43 333 32 32 or via email at email@example.com about the loan and purchase conditions applicable to your country.