Talking newspapers can make a huge difference to the blind and partially sighted

Thousands of people in Sussex who are either partially sighted or blind could be lonelier than need be simply because they are unaware of the excellent talking newspaper services available in the county. Jon Dean ins the chairman of Roundabout Talking News, which is based in Horsham, and he teamed up with Mick Duplock, one of their listeners, to give an interview on Radio Sussex. Here he revealed that out of a possible audience of 2200 there were only 150 subscribed to their service.

Every week volunteers are recording approximately 30 minutes of news highlights courtesy of the West Sussex County Times, as well as a further 30 minutes of a discussion programme which is done in magazine style. The subscribers are then sent a memory stick containing this hour long programme. There are a further 14 such talking newspapers across the county.

Jon points out that everything is free right down to the memory sticks the programmes are on and the one touch players they install in customers houses to listen to the programme. He added that with the West Sussex County Times being published on a Thursday they try and ensure their listeners get the programme on a Saturday so the news is still topical.

Mr Dean went onto say that BBC Radio Sussex was a perfect way to reach their prospective audience and they urged any readers of the WSCT who are friends or relatives of a blind or partially sighted person to contact Roundabout on their behalf. In the 35 years they have been in operation, Roundabout have come across many people who have sat and read the newspapers to friends and family and they aim to relieve them of that with their service.