Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Kansas Audio-Reader Network

The University of Kansas' Audio-Reader Network, the second-oldest radio reading service in the nation, makes print accessible for people who are blind or who cannot use printed materials because of a disability.

Audio-Reader was one of only two radio reading services in the nation -- Minnesota was first -- when it was established in 1971 by Lawrence philanthropist Petey Cerf. Today, with the help of FM radio broadcasters, cable TV companies, microwave relay systems and the Kansas Lions Sight Foundation Satellite Network, reading by radio is available to thousands of people across Kansas and western Missouri, with some Audio-Reader programming available via satellite to other radio reading services across the United States.

Audio-Reader is generally broadcast on the subcarrier of an FM radio station. This means a special radio is required in the home. The radio is provided by Audio-Reader, on loan, for as long as it is wanted. In some locations Audio-Reader may only be available through the local cable company. In those cases, Audio-Reader will provide a special radio if one is required, but the listener will have to subscribe and pay for basic cable service. Listeners receive a program guide in large print, Braille, or cassette.

Audio-Reader, offered as a public service by KU, provides live and recorded broadcasts of printed materials including current books, magazines and newspapers. The range of materials includes the New York Times and Wrestling USA, as well as Spanish broadcast of content in Dos Mundos, an English-Spanish newspaper published in Kansas City, Mo.

Other services include Personal Taping and Fax Response. Pamphlets, newsletters, articles, instruction manuals or other printed materials under 100 pages can be mailed to Audio-Reader and a volunteer will read the text onto a cassette. Shorter documents may be faxed to their offices and they will telephone the sender and read them back, usually within a half hour. Details about these services are available upon request.

Audio-Reader also streams the material it provides to the blind through their website. The stream is in the RealAudio format and is available to registered users only. You can request membership through the contact information below.

Audio-Reader also operates a newspaper-by-telephone system, the Lions Telephone Reader. Please use the contact information below to receive an application for service, or a broadcast schedule:

1120 west 11th St.
P.O. Box 847
Lawrence, KS 66044
Toll Free: 800-772-8898
Phone: 785-864-4600
Fax: 785-864-4053

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