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Audio-Reader receives grant to help fund braille program guide, other projects

Thursday, January 14, 2016

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Audio-Reader Network, a reading and information service for the blind and print-disabled, has received a $9,324 grant from the Ethel and Raymond Rice Foundation. The grant will help fund Audio-Reader’s Braille Program Guide, closed-circuit radios for Audio-Reader listeners, and it will pay for Audio Description training for both Audio-Reader and Spencer Museum of Art staff and volunteers.

This grant from the Rice Foundation will help both agencies ensure that cultural events, such as local theater and exhibitions at the museum, will be accessible to individuals who are blind and visually impaired. In training, future audio describers will learn how to describe the visual elements of theater or a work of art. Representatives from both organizations are excited about this collaboration, which will have a positive effect on visually impaired KU students and the many people living with blindness and low vision in surrounding communities.

“The Spencer Museum of Art is honored for this opportunity to partner with the staff at KU Audio-Reader to expand the services offered by both organizations. With training in audio description, Spencer staff and volunteers will be equipped to improve accessibility of our collections and programs for individuals with visual impairment and able to provide more enriching art experiences for all of our visitors,” said Saralyn Reece Hardy, Spencer Museum of Art Marilyn Stokstad Director. 

Support from the Rice Foundation will also benefit the individuals who receive Audio-Reader’s Braille Program guide, allows listeners who are blind to choose when to listen to their local newspaper or the next installment of a book on the Audio-Reader broadcast. Funds will also help Audio-Reader purchase closed-circuit radios which will be used by Audio-Reader listeners to access Audio-Reader programs. 

“We are very grateful to the Ethel and Raymond Rice Foundation for its continued support and for ensuring that both Audio-Reader programs and local cultural events will be accessible to our listeners,” said Dan Skinner, Audio-Reader Executive Director. 

Broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the KU campus, the Kansas Audio-Reader Network provides free readings of newspapers, books and magazines to thousands of listeners in Kansas, Missouri and beyond. For more information about Audio-Reader, visit reader.ku.edu or call (785) 864-4600.

Museum Events

Kenneth Spencer Research Library North Gallery Grand Reopening
Thursday, September 7 | 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: 15-minute tours of North Gallery, 4 p.m.: Brief remarks
Kenneth Spencer Research Library, 1450 Poplar Lane
University of Kansas campus

Fall 2017 Applied Humanities Workshop with N.Y. Nathiri
Friday, September 15 | 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Hall Center for the Humanities Conference Room
Nathiri is executive director of of the Association for the Preservation of the Eatonville Community (P.E.C.). P.E.C. is a 501(c)(3) founded in 1987 and based in Eatonville, Florida, the hometown of Zora Neale Hurston. P.E.C. hosts the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of Arts and Humanities; The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts (The Hurston); and a host of year-round programs for pre-K through 12. Nathiri is a professionally trained librarian and an award-winning preservationist.

Teacher Appreciation Night
September 28 | 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
The Truman Presidential Museum
500 W. U.S. Highway 24
Independence, MO
More than 20 museums across the region will be present to help teachers craft lessons and offer their resources. Free to all educators.

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