Reading For the Blind Wasn’t Like This When I Did It

When I was college, several lifetimes ago, I was a DJ at the college radio station where I attended, WRKC-FM. WRKC aired a program from 10am to noon called the Radio Home Visitor. RHV as it is known is designed as an outreach to those who in Luzerne County, PA who are visually impaired. I was a reader on and off for the show for the 4 years I was at King’s College. RHV’s mission is to read the daily newspaper (a day late) emphasizing non-breaking stories. Weddings, funerals, birth announcements, Letters to the Editor are the staples of the program. The main purpose was to keep the visually impaired up on the types of news that just isn’t available from other sources, making sure that all of those everydaybits of information are available to them.

It is with this background that I read with interest the following story via NPR. “Just How It Sounds: Reading ‘Playboy’ To The Blind”.

By day, Suzi Hanks is a DJ at a classic radio station in Houston, Texas. It’s what she does after work that makes people’s ears blush.

Hanks volunteers with Taping for the Blind, an organization that makes audio recordings of popular books and magazines. When she started the gig three years ago, they put her to work reading pet publications.

What I found to be the most interesting part of the story is that Hanks actually describes the photos as part of the reading. While reading for the RHV I don’t remember describing all that many photos even if they went with the story. Of course, the photos that we had available for description wasn’t quite as interesting as those in Playboy.

Reading through some of the comments on the NPR site and Facebook page, it seems that there are some who object to Playboy being read for the visually impaired.  Although I don’t read Playboy, I really don’t have any objection to having it read. People with impairments and disabilities have sex lives as well. Their spouses have to be very special people because of some of the impediments that the disabilities can present. Why not?

If you do follow the link to the NPR story, do listen to the story. There are some edited samples of her describing the photos. It really does help to flesh out the story.

Published in: on 09/19/2010 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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