Talking Newspaper for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The object of the Association is to help the blind, partially-sighted, or those labouring under some incapacity which makes reading a strain or impossible.
Tendring Talking Newspaper Association assists by providing THE TENDRING TALKING TIMES - a weekly, audio newspaper recorded on tapes/CD's containing articles, local news and matters of local interest.
For further information:
· Telephone: 01255 422307
· or write to:
THE TENDRING TALKING TIMES
Some of the happiest days of my teaching career were in Northamptonshire where I was teaching young blind children. When I retired, many years later, I thought I might like to become involved with the visually handicapped once again. I offered my services to the Tendring Talking Times - the local newspaper for the visually handicapped - and I was taken on as a reader.
In those days we met in the old St Osyth Training College on the sea front. Today we have our own premises, a small upstairs flat which has been turned into a studio. The kitchen is used as the producer's office - that is now where I work; the living room is taken over by the editors and readers; one room is full of highly technical equipment which I know nothing about, and the other, with all the walls covered in egg boxes to help make it sound proof - is used as the actual recording studio.
The producer has overall responsibility for the day's production, except for that all-important hi-tech recording aspect. He introduces the week's tape, welcomes any new listeners, gives details of duty chemists in the area for the coming Sunday, and offers appropriate birthday greetings, especially to those in their high nineties and hundreds. Yes, we have five centenarian listeners.
Reports from local blind clubs are read, and often something light hearted is inserted. The readers then read items from the local papers that have been selected and cut out by the editors.
The next morning another team of volunteers arrives, and using some very sophisticated high-speed copying machines, they run off enough tapes to be able to send one to each listener in a velcro-sealed pouch. The Post Office kindly accepts these without stamps for both the outward and return journeys. The listener should, and usually does, receive the tape on Saturday, then after playing it, returns it by post.
There are around 300 recipients at present from all over the Tendring area. When the Friday local rags were printed in the area, we used to get advance copies on a Thursday evening - Tomorrow's News Today, you might say! More recently printing for the group has been consolidated in
Tendring Talking Times is now in its 31st year. All those involved are volunteers, who are given training. Prospective readers are given an audition before being placed in front of the recording equipment for real. The organisation depends entirely on donations to meet expenses. It gives a much needed service in the area, and the volunteers obtain a sense of satisfaction from doing a worthwhile job for the benefit of others.
If you would like to offer your services as a volunteer, or if you know of someone who is registered blind or partially sighted, and who would like to receive this talking newspaper FREE each week, please contact me on 821012, as I am the Liaison Officer for the St Osyth/Brightlingsea area.
(Based on an article by Hollis Drake in the Manningtree Society Magazine.)