Sunday, March 13, 2005

Radio Information Service

I have recently started volunteering with the Radio Information Service here in Pittsburgh. The RIS is a reading service that broadcasts the reading of print material for people who are blind, visually impaired, or have difficulty holding standard print material. If you are eligible, you can receive a special radio receiver which allows you to receive the broadcasts. Among other things, the service gives print impaired persons the means to "read" daily newspapers, magazines, and books of interest.

I had volunteered for the Radio Reading Service in Birmingham, Alabama for two or three years in high school, until I left for college. In Birmingham, I was a substitute reader for the Birmingham News, the afternoon paper.

Here in Pittsburgh, I started as a substitute reader. I started substituting for a program called "Heritage". Last week, I was asked if I would continue on as the normal reader for "Heritage". I'm excited about the opportunity!

Heritage is a one hour program featuring historical news and notes, profiles of people and places, personal accounts of historical events, restoration, historical culture. Basically, I choose several articles to read from magazines such as The History Channel, American Heritage, and Smithsonian on these topics, cobble together a one hour program, and record it at the RIS studio. My program airs twice a week, Thursdays at 5 PM and Sundays at 11 PM.

Do you want to hear what I sound like on the radio? It's pretty easy! Go to Then, click on "Listeners" at the top. Next, click on "Web Archives and Live Stream" on the left. Choose a media player appropriate to your computer, either WinAmp, Windows Media Player, or Real Player (I like WinAmp). Scroll down to "Heritage" and click it. The last five or six programs will start playing in your player with the most recent one playing first. If you do decide to listen in, send me an email with your thoughts! I'm always interested in ways of improving the program.

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