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Kent Association for the Blind: weekly Talking News service

By Katie Davis

One of the many services KAB offers is a Talking News service, which is provided hundreds of sight impaired people in Kent, totally free of charge.

The majority of the 500 weekly listeners are in their 80s and 90s, and many live alone.

The service has been running for 35 years and each week 13 editions of KM Group newspapers or other local papers are recorded.

Two of the volunteers recording at KAB's Maidstone office
Two of the volunteers recording at KAB's Maidstone office

Louise Morrison, KAB's Digital Production Co-ordinator, said: "It provides them with a link to the community that they may have felt they lost and gives them something to talk about when friends or family visit."

With more than 100 volunteers across Kent on a rota, recordings are generally done in a recording studio at a KAB office or simply in the volunteer's home.

It's put then onto memory sticks that are then sent out via post and, once listened to, are sent back via free post.

13 local newspaper editions are recorded each week
13 local newspaper editions are recorded each week

Those who wish to use the service only need something to play it on, which can either be a USB player, which KAB can provide, or a computer/ laptop that can take a memory stick.

Alternatively, you can listen online here, also free of charge - so if you or someone you know has a sight impairment, this is a great way for them to access local news.

A weekly Talking Magazine is also produced at KAB's Maidstone office and that goes to all listeners and is produced on a weekly rota by four volunteers.

Transcription Service

Since 2010, a disabled person has the right to receive in a format they can understand under the Equality Act.

This could be in audio, large print or Braille, and KAB thinks it is important people know that this is a right they can access.

Louise Morrison said: "People can ask for this if it is not being offered at places like the dentist, the doctors or council information - it's their right!"

KAB offer a transcription service that's an efficient solution for any service provider, care provider or business or such like to have any existing information put into the required format for customers or service users - allowing information to be easily accessed by those with sight impairments.

For more information on this service, email transcription@kab.org.uk or call Louise Morrison on 01622 691357.

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