Talking about news
Volunteers read paper onto tape
IT WAS the late Dawn Bramley, a blind Eidsvold woman, who instigated the idea of reading the Central and North Burnett Times newspaper on tape and distributing it to the visually impaired and others, who were unable to read.
And since March 1994, every issue of the local newspaper has been read by volunteers, who gathered every Thursday at Mundubbera Community Development Association.
Desley Rennick has been blind since birth and she has been involved with the Talking News since its inception.
“Once the master copy is made, I copy it and send tapes to people who’ve requested them,” Mrs Rennick said.
“The reason it’s kept going all these years is that each week the tapes come back.
“They are returned to association, where I sort them. I know who has returned them because I’ve brailled their names on the address cards.”
When the service started, up to 30 tapes were sent each week with all the hospitals and retirement villages in the North Burnett taking one, as well as individuals, who listened in their homes.
“The volunteers don’t just read the news, they have fun with it sometimes and describe the photos to add interest,” Mrs Rennick said.
Although only 10 – 15 were still regularly sent, they played a valuable role in the lives of recipients, who live in all parts of the North Burnett and further afield.
Audrey Duffin, of Mundubbera, is visually impaired and appreciates the efforts of the volunteers, who make it possible for her to keep up to date with local events by listening to her weekly Talking News.
The service offered by Australia Post means no postage is required.
If you know someone who would like to receive the Talk- ing News phone the association on 4165 4690.
New volunteer readers are always welcome.
“At the moment, we have 14 volunteers who read and do the copying, but four more would be great,” the association’s John Sharp said.
NEWS FOR THE BLIND: Desley Rennick (left) copies the Talking News for appreciative recipients like Audrey Duffin.