Pittsburg Volunteers Read to the Blind Over the Radio
Every weekday from 2-4pm volunteers at the Pittsburg Community Center, like Robert Casino, read the paper for those who cannot.
“I thought if I could read and be able to help somebody else, be able to catch up on the news that they can’t read, I thought it’s an opportunity to serve people,” he says.
Listeners who are blind, visually impaired, or print impaired tune in on special radios to hear the latest headlines, daily gossip, and the most popular section, the obituaries.
“It gives you a chance to know what’s going on in the community, if you’ve lost a friend or someone.. It just makes you more independent.”
Sheila Marque, the group’s director who is also blind, recently lead the group from PSU to their new home at the community center.
“It’s a lot simpler….Everything is pre-set for us we just flip on a switch,” she says.
It takes a team. Readers alternate between ten different papers. But to keep the program alive, the group is looking for more volunteers to step up.
“If you can read… you can practice reading at home. Open up a book or read the newspaper when you get it in the morning out loud and see what the difference is. Normally we read silently. Next time, read it out loud and see if you can read. And if you can read and you feel comfortable reading, hey we could always use you on the Audio Reader,” Casino says.
There are also spots for editors who pick out the daily stories. The two hour broadcast is run by Kansas University on the Kansas Audio-Reader Network.
If you’d like more information about getting a free radio or volunteering call Sheila Marque at 620-232-3819.