Friday, July 23, 2010
I volunteer at the Radio Reading Service because I know first hand how important the service is to the visually impaired in our community.
More than 20 years ago, Mom realized something was wrong with her vision. First, the Venetian blinds looked all wobbly. Then, depending on which eye she used, the camera was broken or not. Once, Mom threw out a brand new box of pens because they “didn’t write.”
Mom is virtually blind as a result of Macular Degeneration.
Mom used to read to us kids when I was little. I, in turn, read to my younger siblings. And when I had kids of my own, I read to them. Now through the RRS, I read to Mom. For her and others who use the service, the station is a way for individuals to keep up with the news beyond what’s available via TV and radio. The RRS volunteers bring the printed word to those who can no longer read for themselves. And we are honored to do it.
After I retired more than five years ago, I became a regular volunteer reader and occasional substitute for the Union Tribune. I enjoy the interaction with my reading partners as we decide how best to cover that day’s news. I also record a segment of the North County Times, covering stories not in the UT.
It’s great: I have fun and at the same time give to others!
The KPBS Radio Reading Service has been a part of KPBS since 1975, providing a vital service to the visually impaired. Volunteers read newspapers, magazines, books and other printed materials though a closed radio frequency. More information is available at kpbsreadingservice.org.