Talk­ing about news

Vol­un­teers read pa­per onto tape

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS - ❏ Sue Har­ris

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.

Photo: Sue Har­ris

NEWS FOR THE BLIND: Des­ley Ren­nick (left) copies the Talk­ing News for ap­pre­cia­tive re­cip­i­ents like Au­drey Duf­fin.

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