March 15, 2002
Volume XXXV, No. 11

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San Antonio seniors tune in reading radio

PHOTO Lions Club 2-A2 officers watch as vice district governor Cal Lawson prepares a broadcast at the R.R.S. The service held its grand opening March 6.

The childhood days of gathering around the radio are back for hundreds of San Antonio senior citizens and others with "print impairment." The new Reading Radio Service (R.R.S.) will broadcast the latest news, weather and local event information to San Antonians who can't read because of vision loss, the inability to hold a newspaper or difficulty processing text.

The R.R.S. held its grand opening March 6. The program is a collaboration between the department of ophthalmology, the Lions of South Texas and the San Antonio Low Vision Club.

"There are so many people who want to be more involved in our community and have no access to current events because they aren't able to read the paper," said Bob Hobson, South Texas project coordinator in the department of ophthalmology. "This is the best means to provide that information. It gives independence back to print impaired people by providing them with in-depth information about their city and their world. The more you inform people, the more they feel a part of society and often they become more a part of society."

The Texas Public Radio Station KSTX will carry the broadcast on a sub-channel. But to hear the program, residents need a specially tuned radio. The radios can be acquired by submitting an application to the R.R.S. office, but they are only available to print impaired people.

"We have the potential to broadcast to more than 30,000 people in the reception area," Hobson said. "At this time, there are more than 150 receivers in place to test the system."

Applications for the radios are available at the San Antonio Lighthouse, the Texas Commission for the Blind, the eye clinic at the V.A. and Prevent Blindness. Candidates also can call the R.R.S. office at (210) 829-4223.

The Lions Club of district 2-A2 is providing the funding for the broadcast equipment. JAG Capital Management is providing office space at Frost Bank for broadcasting. For more information or to volunteer as a radio reader, call Hobson at ext. 7-8419.


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