For many years, Audio Journal’s radio reading services was in part subsidized by government funding. Due to cut backs and funding restrictions, this is no longer the case. In this time, we need your support more than ever.

What can you do? Make your voice heard! Support Audio Journal by calling or writing your legislative representative and tell them how valuable this service is to you. Below you will find a copy of talking points and a letter template you can use to send to your representative.

If you’re not sure who to contact, you can either call Audio Journal at 508-797-1117 and we can look them up for you or visit http://www.mass.gov/portal/ to search using your address. Together, we can make a change and save this valuable service.

In Support of the Massachusetts Reading Network

A state-wide broadcast network, headed by The Talking Information Center, Marshfield with affiliates: Audible Local Ledger, Mashpee; Audio Journal, Worcester; Berkshire Talking Chronicle, Pittsfield; LAB, Lowell; Valley Radio Reading Service, Springfield

Support Mission: To convince legislators that the Massachusetts Reading Network for elderly, blind and others with disabilities is worthy of the State’s financial support.

  • Established, award-winning, 40 year old state-wide communications network’s existence is threatened by lack of state funding
    • Cost effective
    • User friendly for non-tech savvy elders, disabled, low income
    • Technically advanced for more tech savvy users
    • Provides access in spirit of Americans with Disabilities Act
    • Potential additional uses – emergency information, support groups, education, employment training for blind
  • Directly affects elder, disabled, most vulnerable constituents
    • 27,000 visually impaired listeners state-wide
    • 105,000 elders in MA with serious sight-loss who are not “legally blind”
    • 210,000 seniors with low vision by the year 2030
  • Important Community Value
    • Direct connection to this vulnerable population
    • 24,000 annual volunteer hours donated by over 500 volunteers, valued at nearly $650,000
    • Continued technical growth and partnerships poised to greatly expand reach and efficiency
  • Intangibles
    • Provides companionship in addition to news and vital information
    • Enhances independence
    • Lessens worrisome burden on family and loved ones
    • Award-winning programming covers great variety of topics, i.e. health, culture, politics, ethnic interests
  • Actions
    • Enlist the help of legislators
    • Direct efforts to Representative James M. Cantwell, D, 4th Plymouth District: 617-722-2140 or cantwell@mahouse.gov
    • Contact Jim Bunnell, Executive Director, Talking Information Center for more information: 781-834-4400 or jbunnell@ticnetwork.com

Working together we can ensure our most vulnerable neighbors will not be forgotten!

Letter Template for Legislators 

(Date)

(Legislator Name, Title)
(Address)
Boston, MA

Dear (Legislator’s Name):

I would like to request your assistance to remedy a dire situation. One that affects over 27,000 residents of the Commonwealth who are elderly, blind or otherwise disabled. A number that will increase dramatically over the next decade.

The Massachusetts Reading Network, headed by The Talking Information Center in Marshfield, provides an important connection to the world for those who are in danger of being left behind in this “age of information.” A network of affiliate stations located in Mashpee, Worcester, Lowell, Pittsfield, and Springfield serve disadvantaged people by providing access to local news and vital information. The network is extremely effective and has served our neighbors throughout Massachusetts since 1977.

State funding, which has primarily come from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind at a recent level of $650,000 will end on June 30, 2017. The network is in danger of closing without this support. The leadership at TIC has been working with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Health & Human Services, Veterans, Consumer Affairs, and Telecommunications and Cable to no avail at this point.

Our efforts are being spearheaded by Representative James M. Cantwell, D, Plymouth. Would you please consider joining with him to restore funding for this valuable service? His contact information is: 617-722-2140 or james.cantwell@mahouse.gov.

We would greatly appreciate any support or recommendations, as this directly affects your elderly, disabled constituents. Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully yours,

(Your name)