Talking newspapers bring the news, articles and, in my case, interviews to their local communities. You don’t have to be visually impaired to be able to get this service – it is available to anyone. Nowadays, the spoken word is delivered on a memory stick – just plug-in and play on very easy-to-use players with a few straightforward buttons.
I was whisked away to a small stone building in the car park of adjacent village, Stubbington, for an interview about Baking Blind and the Holman prize with the Fareport Talking News (www.talkingnews-fareport.org.uk). In a tiny studio not much bigger than the average utility room, Suzie the volunteer technician and Carl who leads this local initiative, tested me for sound levels and put me through my paces.
They’ll offer the interview to the other local talking newspaper groups and even colleagues across the national Federation of Talking News (www.tnf.org.uk). There’s even a chance it may get to the British Wireless for the Blind (www.blind.org.uk) that will loan sophisticated radios with internet facilities which give access to international programmes.
If you know someone who wants to keep in touch with what is happening locally but can’t manage the papers, this might be the answer. There’s almost certainly a similar service close by so call the Federation on 01793 497555 and, for Fareport Talking News, Carl Cater on 01329 664364.
Penny Melville-Brown OBE
Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk
Helping disabled people to work since 2000