(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.--03/29/18) A thrift store in Springfield is providing technology to those with visual impairments and other physical challenges to a more easier way to stay in touch with the world.
Picking up the morning newspaper or browsing through your favorite magazine is something many people take for granted.
"Everybody just gets the paper and looks at it or whatever and just glance and know what’s happening. Well why can’t I read that. I what to know what’s happening," explains Matthew Elliff, who is legally blind.
However, for those who are blind like Elliff, or visually impaired taking part in this everyday activity can be difficult or impossible.
"Everyone should have equal access to the printed material and other things and just to know that I can finally do that is fantastic."
That's why Lori Kesinger, Outreach Coordinator, Audio Reader Network, and the Missouri Council for the Blind Thrift Store are helping those get back in touch with their communities.
"If you can’t pick it up and read it for yourself out of the newspaper, it’s not available to you," explains Kesinger.
Kesinger says the mission of the free service called the Audio-Reader Network fosters the blind.
"So that’s the gap that audio reader fills. So anyone who wants to continue to be involved in their community, wants to know what’s going on, locally and regionally."
She adds anyone who has a difficulty holding and reading a newspaper or publication can listen in 24 hours a day.
"We read the article in the newspaper, read the entire article. It’s not just a headline, it’s not just a story, it’s the actual article from the newspaper read from the beginning to end."
Jeff Lamontia is the General Manager at the Missouri Council of the Blind Thrift Store. He hopes the service helps give individuals, who used to rely on friends or strangers, a way to become more informed.
"You want to have a level of playing field as much as humanly as possible. To make this kind of thing to happen we all want that chance. Everybody is the same regardless of the disability," explains Lamontia.
Click Here: For more information about how you can access the Radio Reader Network.