Douglas J. Usiak, Chief Executive Officer, Western New York Independent Living, Inc.
‘Tis a month before the New Year,
And we’re working hard right here,
At the 3108 Main Street office,
When all of a sudden,
Something just happened!
A new Family member for WNYIL,
A regional program,
Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service,
Has abruptly appeared!
Ahh! Enough of this poetry that isn’t really working, anyway! Mediocre introduction notwithstanding, we are really excited about the addition of another member to our Family of Agencies! The Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service (NFRRS), has joined as our sixth agency under the WNYIL banner.
For those who don’t know what NFRRS is, here is the scoop! Founded 31 years ago, it’s an audio news service for those who are unable to read print publications, such as the blind, dyslexic, those with certain traumatic brain injuries, or who have limited limb use that makes holding publications difficult, etc. This-24 hour/7 days-per-week service brings community newspapers, magazines, and books into the homes and ears of its constituents.
At present, a listener must have a special radio set to receive the side band audio channel that WNED-FM graciously provides to be able to enjoy it.A cadre of dedicated volunteers reads from The Buffalo News, USA Today, Niagara Gazette, Wall Street Journal, the Sunday New York Times, various popular magazines, a best-selling fiction and non-fiction books, one hour per week of old time radio, and, the most popular features: the Death Notices, Horoscopes and Tuesday supermarket ads!We at WNYIL are delighted to welcome them to the team!
I’m sure that you can see the importance of such an entity, advances in the Internet since 1987 notwithstanding. Individuals with the conditions listed above, perhaps Grandma and Grandpa, and people with other impairments that put the printed word out of reach, can all benefit from this valuable community service. This function makes NFRRS a natural to join a collaboration of agencies that work to bring knowledge to people with disabilities who wish to stay informed, make their own decisions, and participate in their neighborhoods.
NFRRS joins WNYIL with a professional staff of two, Nick Aldrich, our Program Manager, and a to-be-hired Director; plus hundreds of volunteers, without whose committed work and support the service could not exist. WNYIL and the other members of the Family of Agencies, (ILGR, ILNC, MHPC, OAHIIO, and ILC-Erie), are all excited about providing this service to every single person in Western New York and Southern Ontario who wants and needs it.
So, what does this all mean for us?
That if you are interested in signing up as a service participant or volunteer reader, give us a call to learn how it all works. When you’ve got the big picture, talk the service up with your family and friends, and assist us in maintaining the high standards NFRRS has set. Also, share your ideas on reaching more people with the news and views of what’s happening in Western New York and Southern Ontario.
Please be alert for an upcoming survey we plan to conduct about what’s working in the service and what can be improved. We want to know from the listeners how we can better bring to you the information you need, and when in the broadcast schedule it should appear.
And, most of all, since WNYIL is an organization run and directed by people with disabilities, we want consumers who can read to be involved as volunteers, as well as consumers of the service.
NFRRS participants: similar to our other programs, it is vital to have your support for a program dedicated to you and others with print disabilities; only with your help will we make NFRRS the best Radio Reading Service in the Country. So tune in, and listen for more developments, as our newest member enters 2019 with a new family.