From the President of the Board

 

A New Vision for TRRS

This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Triangle Radio Reading Service. Our first broadcast took place on March 21, 1983. But we have decided to use this anniversary celebration as an opportunity to look forward, rather than backward.

There is no doubt that TRRS, thanks to a dedicated small staff and hundreds of volunteers, has done great work for our blind and visually impaired community. But things were a lot different back in 1983 than they are today. As you may recall, there were no cell phones, iPads or emails. Our main job was to make what is now called “old media” more accessible to those who could not see.

Since then there has been an explosion of technologies and available information, and we need to continue to be vital. Our mission is clear: “to connect people who are blind or visually impaired to their community and to the world around them.” Many of our listeners, especially younger ones, are finding new ways to get the information they need from some of the new sources. That is why we have adopted the theme of “A New Vision for TRRS” in our 30th anniversary year.

Although the “bread and butter” of our business continues to be reading from the Raleigh News & Observer, community newspapers, USA TODAY and dozens of magazines, we are finding new ways to make this ever-changing world for accessible to our listeners.

First of all, we are creating new, original programming….shows like “Take My Arm,” “Heard Any Good Books Lately?” and others. Second, we are thinking more broadly about how we deliver programming. Virtually all of our programming is now available on demand immediately after it is broadcast on the service. And some programming is only available on demand.

Here are some recent examples:

·      “Symphony Notes from the North Carolina Symphony.” We read the notes from the symphony program for all of the NC Symphony performances in the Classical Series from October through May, 2014.

·      We are also working on a pilot project to read specialized materials for blind students at Wake Tech to ensure quick and easy access.

·      We are working with the Governor Morehead School and two outstanding young people there to produce a special Holiday program. It will be produced by blind young people for blind young people and includes an interview with Ira David Wood, III.

In short, there is a lot going on and we plan to continue to expand our service to the blind and visually impaired community in the years to come.

Raising the funds to continue the operation has always been a challenge, and that continues today. We have recently begun a “Sustaining Membership” program where supporters of TRRS can have their contributions withdrawn from the debit or credit card each month. Early response has been excellent! If you would like to support TRRS on a monthly basis please call the office any weekday at 919- 832-5138.

We can’t thank you enough for your interest and your ongoing support of the Triangle Radio Reading Service. We could not keep this operation going without you!

-         George Douglas, President