Volunteers are the lifeblood of Audio Journal. Without our volunteers, we could not possibly continue to provide or expand this vital service to individuals who are blind, visually impaired and print disabled.
What We Do
We provide information, education and entertainment to those who, for any reason, are unable to read the printed page. We serve not only those who are totally blind, but also those who are legally blind or have visual impairments or physical handicaps.
How to Fulfill Our Mission
Volunteers always ask, “What do blind people want to hear?” Blind people want to hear (read) everything that you do. Many have been blind since birth, but the majority of listeners are people with some sight who, with advanced age, illness or physical disability, have lost their ability to read. Just like you, they have a lifetime of experiences and interests that haven’t gone away just because they can no longer read, and they want to continue adding as much as they can to that experience.
You are the eyes of the world for our listeners. This is not a task to be undertaken lightly. We are committed to providing the highest quality of radio reading service in the world, and there are services in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and other countries.
What Will Happen Now?
Your introduction to Audio Journal will be provided by Vince Lombardi, Director or Valerie Clapham, Volunteer Coordinator. They will explain what Audio Journal is and what volunteers do, have you fill out an application, find out what your interests are, and assist you in signing up for training sessions with experienced readers.
What to Read
Audio Journal provides basic guidelines during your training. Since staff is limited, they cannot read and select your material, though it will provide some of the materials from which you can select. Our 150 volunteers’ selection of readings to fit our guidelines guarantees a variety of material. While we read editorials, as you may do when you read to yourself, we never, ever editorialize ourselves. You may think that a person’s viewpoint or actions are wrong, but your comment reflects that you presuppose everyone in your audience feels your way. Let them think their own thoughts, as you do.
This puts a far greater burden on you to act truly as your audience’s eyes on the world. In choosing articles from the daily newspapers or from periodicals, be sure to offer a balance of views. That you may be a political conservative or radical, a pro- or anti-abortionist, Republican or Democrat, fiscal conservative, supply-side economist or “bleeding heart liberal,” loyal Red Sox or Yankee fan has no relevance to your reading of the material. You must not allow your beliefs or biases to influence your selection in any way.
Now that you know a little about your audience and your important role in their lives, remember other major factors governing your broadcast. You have a time frame to work within, no matter what you are reading. Balance your need to fit your material within the time allotted your program with your need to present material which is important, interesting and timely.
If you are interested in serving, please call Valerie Clapham, Volunteer Coordinator, at 508-797-1117.