Besides donating through
Goodgiving.net, you can donate on our website at radioeye.org, or mail a check
1733 Russell Cave Road
Lexington, KY 40505
You can also plan to donate and spread the word during our online giving challenges:
Attend our annual event, A Signal Affair, taking place at the Lyric Theatre on Friday, October 6, 2017.
In-kind donations can be dropped off at our studio at the above address. We are located inside of the Northside Branch of the Lexington Public Library. Park in the staff parking lot, and ring the bell to be let in. In-kind donations requested include stamps & candy and cough drops for volunteer readers. See our most recent in-kind wish list at www.donor.radioeye.org.
Donating your time is a great way to help Radio Eye. We have several different types of volunteer opportunities, including reading on-air, helping in the office, and speaking at community events. Call our Office Manager at 859-422-6390 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a volunteer orientation.
Radio Eye is a radio
reading service for those who are unable to access the printed word.
Volunteer readers provide listeners with equal access to the reading of current newspapers, magazines, health materials, grocery ads, and much more. Programs are broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to alleviate isolation and improve the quality of life for print-disabled listeners.
Listeners can access the broadcast on special pre-tuned radios, on the Sero and Tune-In apps, on the NFB-Newsline telephone service, on our own toll-free telephone system, and at www.radioeye.org.
Radio Eye, Inc.
(formerly Central Kentucky Radio Eye, Inc.), a 501(c)(3) non-profit radio
reading service, was founded in 1988 to provide printed daily news, current
events, and other vital information to people who are blind, have low vision,
or have any disability which makes reading difficult or impossible, including
physical and learning disabilities. A staff of five, together with 170
volunteers, produces 67 radio programs each week, turning text into speech
using the human voice.
The service began broadcasting in 1990 to listeners in Lexington and Central Kentucky out of studios located on the University of Kentucky campus. Our studios moved to the Northside Branch of the Lexington Public Library in 2008. Over the years, we have expanded our broadcast areas and methods. We expanded radio service to Louisville in 2010, to Eastern Kentucky in 2014, and to Morehead in 2015. Over the years, we have also begun broadcasting on telephones, smartphones, on cable TV in Lexington and Frankfort, and in nursing homes and hospitals.
Radio Eye is an independent organization, which relies on grants, donations, and in-kind support to operate. The Lexington Public Library and Visually Impaired Preschool Services provide rent and utility free studio and office space. WUKY public radio, Louisville Public Media, WEKU public radio, and Morehead State Public Radio donate Radio Eye’s broadcast frequencies free of charge; the library and Frankfort Plant Board provide our cable TV broadcasts free of charge; over 30 publishers provide gift subscriptions; and volunteers donate over 8,000 hours of their time each year.
In 2016, approximately 9,800 individuals across the state had access to print material because of Radio Eye.
Radio Eye’s overarching goal is to bring people
with print disabilities more independence and a better quality of life through
access to information, focusing on locally produced publications.
Our top accomplishments in 2016 were:
1. Providing our service to more than 9,800 listeners across the state, in various broadcast methods.
2. Partnering with Visually Impaired Preschool Services for recording space in Louisville.
3. Hiring a part-time Development Director and a part-time Louisville Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator.
Additionally, according to the results of our listener survey:
For 2017, our goals are to:
1. Ensure potential listeners outside of our radio range know about alternate ways to listen – especially our new toll-free telephone service and internet radios.
2. Improve programming based on results of 2016 listener survey.
3. Continue to lessen the feeling of isolation among our listeners and increase our listeners’ knowledge of current events, health topics, and other information relevant to their lives.
Radio Eye is totally
independent and self-supporting. The service is primarily run by volunteers,
and our overhead is low because we receive much in-kind support, including
rent-free facilities thanks to the Lexington Public Library and Visually
Impaired Preschool Services, and free radio frequencies thanks to WUKY Public
Radio, Louisville Public Radio, Morehead State Public Radio, and WEKU.
Our current needs are:
Growing up, I never heard about a service like Radio Eye, or even considered the need for it. No one in my close family was blind or disabled, but most of us were voracious readers, always with a book or newspaper or magazine in our hands. It never occurred to me, at that time, to ask what would happen if a member of my family ever became unable to read.
After eight years of working for Radio Eye, I would never think to question the need for our service, or the benefit it offers to our listeners. I have spoken with countless listeners and their families over the years, who only have good things to say about the service. “Thank you for enhancing my daily dignity of life,” one listener writes, while another says, “Your program and services are a complete blessing to me, and I wholeheartedly thank you,” and a third says, “I tell everyone I know about Radio Eye.”
Three years ago, our service became very personal for me. In May, right after his 80thbirthday, my grandfather became one of our listeners. He’s been steadily losing his vision over the past 13 years, and had finally gotten to where he can no longer see to read the Lexington Herald-Leader. When I was growing up, my grandfather always had a subscription to the newspaper, and would read it after breakfast. It hit him hard when he couldn’t read the paper anymore, because it had always been such a big part of his life.
My grandfather lives in Casey County, which is right on the edge of our Lexington service area. When I went to take him the radio, I was unsure if the radio would pick up, since he lives about 60 miles away from our station. To our great joy, when I turned it on, the signal came through loud and clear. Now he can hear the Herald-Leader, again, as well as all of the other newspapers and magazines he’d lost with his vision.
In the US, cases like my grandfather’s are the norm. Most people who lose their vision do so later in life. Eye diseases like macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy tend to affect older adults, and all three diseases are on the rise. Between 2000 and 2012, cases of diabetic retinopathy rose 89%, glaucoma rose 22%, and macular degeneration rose 25%.
Because only 10% of people who have a visual impairment learn to read braille, services like Radio Eye are more important than ever. For 24 years, Radio Eye has been providing blind and print-disabled listeners with a means to greater independent living by giving them access to newspapers, magazines, health information, sales ads, and other literature they are otherwise unable to read.
In the time I’ve been at Radio Eye, dozens of radio reading services across the nation have closed their doors due to state funding cuts and other financial woes. In that same time, Radio Eye has expanded to serve Louisville and Eastern Kentucky and added separate broadcasts to those areas, added telephone and smartphone app broadcasts for our out of area and technologically inclined listeners, and increased our locally produced programming from 18 shows a week to more than 60!
Radio Eye's service is available via SCA radio in the following
Radio Eye's long-term
goals are to increase our listeners' ability to lead full and productive lives,
through access to date-sensitive printed information, and other programming
designed to offer greater independent living and improve the health and well being
of its listeners.
By listening to Radio Eye, our listeners will have (1) increased knowledge of current events, on a local, state, and national level; (2) a greater sense of community, and decreased feeling of isolation; (3) increased health literacy, and greater knowledge to act as advocate for self in health matters; and (4) increased knowledge of general topics such as science and technology, disability news, and women’s issues.
Our long-term plans are to reach out to more listeners in private homes, hospitals, and nursing/group homes; to alter local and regional programs on an annual basis based on our listeners’ wants and needs; to seek others for partnerships; and to further expand radio reading services statewide.
Our goals for 2017 are:
To increase our
listeners’ access to printed news and information, we produce 66 programs each
week of information targeted to their needs and desires. Over 150 volunteers
help with program production by reading printed material on-air and running our
sound board during live readings. We broadcast our program 24/7 in a variety of
media (including radio, telephone, smartphone app, etc.) in order to reach the
most listeners, regardless of technological ability.
We keep abreast of trends in the radio reading industry and the blind/visually impaired population, through our memberships in the International Association of Audio Information Services and the Blind Services Coalition of Kentucky, and use those trends to inform our decision making.
In order to reach the most blind and print-disabled listeners possible, we go to dozens of outreach events each year targeted to our demographic, and partner with many ophthalmologists and blindness professionals for referrals. The majority of our new listeners each year come from these referrals.
Additionally, we are continually searching for more radio partners to expand our reach. Our expansions in the last five years would not have happened without the help of Louisville Public Media, WEKU, and Morehead State Public Radio.
To ensure our listeners have increased knowledge of current events, we read 42 news programs each week, including 30 newspapers, 2 national news magazines, 1 sports program, 3 consumer information programs, and 6 other news programs. To ensure greater health literacy, we read 10 health and disability programs. To ensure greater knowledge in general, we read 14 other programs with a variety of topics, including science and technology, fiction and non-fiction books, history, women’s issues, spirituality, and music.
Through the familiar voices of our volunteer readers, we offer our listeners a unique form of companionship during long, lonely periods of their day and night, lessening feelings of isolation.
Every year, we survey our listeners to make sure that our programming is effective, and update as needed based on the results.
Broadcasting throughout Kentucky, Radio Eye provides its listeners with free radios on which they may hear the free 24-hour program schedule including the reading of of newspapers, magazines and other current literature. Emphasis is placed on state, regional and local publications. Radio Eye can be heard in private homes via special radio receivers, on two different telephone services, online at www.radioeye.org, in several group homes and hospitals, on cable TV in Frankfort and Lexington, and on the Sero and Tune-In apps.
In the short term, success will be determined by the number of people who have access to print information through Radio Eye.
There are an estimated 138,000 people with a severe visual impairment in in the state. The number of people who are print impaired is much larger, including those with physical disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, paralysis, arthritis, and more.
We currently serve approximately 9,800 people in the state, across all of our broadcast methods. By the end of each year, 50 new blind or print impaired individuals will have access to print information in their homes, 400 new people will have access to the program through hospital or other organizations, our telephone programming will have been accessed for 240 hours, and 100 listeners will have completed the listener survey.
By using our service, Kentucky's blind and disabled population will have improved quality of life and independence, through access to printed news and information. Success is measured by listener satisfaction determined through an annual survey of listeners. Success will be seen as 85% of respondents reporting decreased feelings of isolation, and 90% reporting more knowledge of current events.
Feelings of isolation and knowledge of information in our listeners will be tracked using an annual listener survey, with a goal of 100 listeners responding.
The number of new listeners and organizations with service will be tracked via our database. The number of hours accessed via our toll-free telephone system will be tracked on a spreadsheet with data gathered from our system’s monthly reports.
In 2016, 59 listeners completed the listener survey. Of the respondents, 94% reported feeling less isolated by using the service, and 98% reported having more knowledge of local events. The 2017 survey will be completed at the end of December.
Additionally, in 2016, 47 new listeners received service in their homes, and we brought service to 836 new listeners in 8 hospitals, retirement centers, nursing homes, and other organizations. The toll-free telephone service was used for 121.5 hours.
As the sole radio reading service in Kentucky, Radio Eye is essential to enabling blind and disabled individuals to access newspapers (such as the Lexington Herald-Leader), grocery store ads, health information, and much more. Based on findings by the American Foundation for the Blind and Cornell University, over 138,000 individuals in Kentucky are blind or visually impaired, and therefore eligible for Radio Eye’s service.
According to the Kenosha Literacy Council, “Being literate improves a person’s quality of life and has been shown to be deeply tied to an individual’s self esteem, confidence and personal empowerment.” However, only 10% of blind individuals can read Braille – meaning the only way they can access the same printed material as a sighted person (and be on similar footing in matters such as employment opportunities, community involvement, and financial issues) is for someone else to read to them. Without Radio Eye, this traditionally underserved segment of our society (blind and visually impaired), might wait days or weeks for someone to read for them (Kentucky Office for the Blind).
Radio Eye broadcasts dozens of publications each week, as well as topic based programs - such as Grocery Show (grocery ads), Disability News (information of interest to listeners), Sound Prints (focuses on daily needs for those with disabilities), Community Update (a weekly five minute programming detailing upcoming events), a variety of newspapers and health programming, and much more. This makes it possible for our listeners to keep in touch and be a part of their local communities.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 Blue Grass Community Foundation
499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507