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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Monday, November 07, 2005

Talking Information Center: Turning print into sound

The non-profit Talking Information Center (TIC), headquartered in Marshfield, MA, recently announced the availability of streaming audio online at their website,

In 1977, Ed Perry, the founder of radio station WATD-FM in Marshfield, MA, donated his Subsidiary Carrier Authorization signal for use as the first radio reading service in New England. TIC began broadcasting in 1978 for four hours daily, Monday through Friday.

Currently, over 20,000 listeners in Massachusetts rely on the Talking Information Center (TIC), which broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to visually-impaired and print-handicapped listeners including those suffering from AIDS, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, paralysis or other physical illness that makes holding a publication or turning pages impossible. TIC provides listeners with special receivers that are small radios tuned only to the Talking Information Center.

TIC is a non-profit reading service that broadcasts newspapers, magazines, books, and special consumer information covering specific subject areas such as obituaries, medical updates, jobs, stock market updates, sports, supermarket specials, voting guides, community newspapers, and television programs. In addition, TIC broadcasts book readings every evening as well as cultural programming including old-time radio drama, theater, and poetry.

TIC is the hub of the Massachusetts Reading Network, broadcasting to all of Massachusetts as well as southern New Hampshire and Connecticut. Operating similarly to other broadcast networks, TIC has affiliates throughout the state of Massachusetts that provide inserts of local news and information that is of interest to listeners in their area. TIC has also added a website, featuring a live audio stream, selected archived programs, and links to other service organizations, including all TIC affiliate stations.

The mission of the Talking Information Center is to provide visually impaired and print-handicapped people with access to the printed word and to provide audience-specific information in the form of timely broadcast programming, including the reading of newspapers, magazines, books, and special consumer information.

This critical lifeline is now available online through the click of a button at where multiple audio streams allow listeners to access live programming and archived material 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Through the efforts of over 550 volunteer readers statewide, TIC continues to broadcast the reading of printed material over an extensive network of commercial and noncommercial radio and cable outlets broadcasting to all of Massachusetts as well as southern New Hampshire and Connecticut, enabling listeners to tune in by using special radio receivers tuned to the sub-carrier of local FM radio stations.

Now, through the addition of the availability of streaming audio online at its website,, listeners who have internet access are able to hear programs live, or tune into archived programs that they may have missed when they were originally broadcast.

To access these archived files, TIC advises listeners to download Winamp, a free MP3 player that is available at

Use the contact information below to get more information on TIC:

Talking Information Center
130 Enterprise Drive
P.O. Box 519
Marshfield, MA 02050
Toll Free: 800-696-9505
Phone: 781-834-4400

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