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.