Grant to help people with sight disabilities hear news

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Photo courtesy of WTAX Radio Photo courtesy of WTAX Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – People with sight disabilities in Illinois could soon gain access to news radio technology.

The idea is to provide some of the 295,000 Illinoisans who have vision issues with equipment that will allow them to keep up to date with news. Sideband receivers will allow these people to tune into radio stations where volunteers ready daily news from newspapers in the state. Special-frequency radios are required to hear these broadcasts.

A $28,455 grant from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Blind and Physically Handicapped Services program is going to the University of Illinois Springfield for this service. Illinoisans who qualify can claim the receivers for free.

"This is an outstanding program that enables blind and visually impaired people to stay connected to their communities through timely access to their local newspapers and other materials," Sen. Andy Manar said. "A vast number of Americans enjoy reading for pleasure, stress relief and to stimulate the mind, and I'm proud that we can continue to make it available locally to those who rely on this service."

Some Illinoisans already have access to the program, which can be accessed using a password-protected Internet stream. Click here for more information about the grant.

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