This campaign has concluded, but if you would like to still make a gift to support Audio Reader, please click here.

Audio-Reader: 45 Years of Service

Raised toward our $4,500 Goal
46 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 21, at 11:55 PM CST
Project Owners

Did You Know?

November 08, 2016

Your support helps provide free, 24/7 access to information for thousands of individuals who have difficulty reading standard print due to blindness, low vision and/or other disabilities. But do you know what that exactly means? Read on to find out what is included in all of the services Audio-Reader provides:

Radio Reading: 24/7 broadcast via a closed-circuit radio, on the internet and via smartphone apps such as iBlink Radio.

  • 120 national and local newspapers read each week

  • 90 magazines each week

  • 200 books (average) per year

Telephone Reader: Information available on demand using a touch-tone phone.

  • Readings from daily newspapers including the KC Star, Topeka Capitol Journal, the Lawrence Journal World, the Wichita Eagle, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times

  • Magazines including The Week, People, The Economist, Guideposts, Rolling Stone, and more

  • Blindness, disability, & late-life publications such as KABVI News, Braille Monitor, Momentum, Sixty and Better, and more

  • 18 weekly grocery/discount store/pharmacy ads

  • Lions Club publications including The Lion Magazine, Kansas Lions News and various regional Lions Club newsletters

  • All of the books that air on Audio-Reader radio broadcast

Special Request: Personal material requested by listeners/agencies and provided on CD.

  • 1,600 hours of specially-requested newspapers, magazines, newsletters, brochures, dubbing and program notes recorded each year

  • Special request highlights:

  • Employment related training and informational materials for a variety of professionals

  • Pre- and post- surgical instructions

  • Work book on anxiety and phobias

  • Audio-Reader has helped several students achieve degrees and certifications

Audio Description: Specially trained volunteers describe all visual elements of theater performances and museum exhibits.

  • The Dole Institute of Politics

  • Lied Center

  • Theatre Lawrence

  • Starlight Theatre

  • Kansas City Repertory Theatre

  • Topeka Civic Theatre

  • Other venues available by request

Sensory Garden:

The garden on the grounds of the Baehr Audio-Reader center is filled with flowers, herbs, and accessories that appeal to all of the senses, especially touch and smell. It exists so that individuals who are blind or visually impaired can still enjoy the many facets of nature. The Sensory Garden is maintained solely by volunteers and private donations. It features a wheelchair-accessible pathway and is open to the public. In the spring semester of 2016, University of Kansas Architecture students designed and built a Sensory Pavilion that adds to the sensory stimulation provided by the garden. The Sensory Pavilion has received international recognition:


Over the past 45 years, because of generous friends like you, Audio-Reader has grown to become a premier audio information service. When you give to Audio-Reader, your support strengthens all of the services we provide to the thousands of listeners. Equally important, your support helps our efforts to reach the tens of thousands of individuals living with visual or print impairment who have never heard of us and do not realize that a service like ours exists and can change their lives. Thank you.

Halfway There!

November 04, 2016

Today we hit the two-week mark on our crowdfunding campaign and we are officially halfway to our goal! We would like to extend a special thank you and recognize everyone who has donated to our birthday campaign as of Friday 11/4/16:

Linda Lungstrum

Jim Wilder

Bruce Roberts

Don Conrad

Beth McKenzie

Brenda and Randy Dyck

Diane Sadowski

Bruce Frey

Daniel Compo

Tiffany Arnold

Elizabeth Snyder

Carl Graves

George Woodyard

Steven and Mary Beth Leininger

Ruth and Kenneth Stoner

Bob Campbell

Roberta Renz

As well as those who wish to remain anonymous. Your donation gives the gift of "sight through sound" to the thousands of listeners Audio-Reader serves throughout Kansas, Missouri and beyond. We couldn't do what we do without your support. Thank you. 

The Lawrence Journal World featured a story about Audio-Reader this past Monday. If you haven't seen it yet, we invite you to read the story and learn about what Audio-Reader is doing to combat the budget cuts and position itself to be even stronger going into the future:

Your Donation Matters: Feedback from an Audio-Reader Listener

November 01, 2016

We are a week and a half into our first-ever crowdfunding campaign and are at 45% of our goal! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our birthday campaign. Your support really does make a difference in the lives of our listeners.

We had the opportunity to speak with one of our listeners who is blind on the phone this week. We love hearing from our listeners and learning about each individual story. Judith Hawley is a retired speech therapist and has been an Audio-Reader listener for 18 years. “I don’t like TV. I prefer radio,” Judith told us. “Audio-Reader expands my learning abilities with different newspapers and catalogs. It keeps me up to date on events going on in my community and I like to go when I can.”

Judith spoke at length about the enjoyment Audio-Reader’s services give to the blind. “It truly opens up a whole new world for me,” she shared. As a retired speech therapist she expressed the importance of the human voice. “Voices are everything!”

From recent research, it shows that Judith is exactly right when she talks about the impact of the human voice. The following list of facts was released by the Internal Association of Audio Information Services in 2015:

The Facts:

  • 42% of disabled Americans do not own a computer

  • Less than 30% of audio information listeners have internet in their homes

  • The most popular screen reader software can cost as much as $1,200

  • The unemployment rate for blind individuals is 72.3%

  • A recent study reported that less than half of government web pages were fully accessible using a screen reader

  • The leading cause of vision loss in adults over age 65 is age-related Macular Degeneration

  • Seniors with disabilities are not adapting to technology at the same rate as other technology users

  • The human voices of reading servicevolunteers are an antidote to the isolation and depression that can come with vision loss

  • Audio Information Services are available to anyone who experiences difficulty reading. Other qualifying conditions include dyslexia, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s

Audio information services remain necessary in spite of recent strides in technology. There is no substitute for the human voice and the power it has to connect listeners to the outside world.

On behalf of the thousands of listeners we serve across Kansas, Missouri, and beyond: THANK YOU. Your donation matters and makes a difference.

Choose a giving level



Your $10 gift will help provide 1 hour of programming for listeners



Your $25 gift will help will help Audio-Reader maintain the hundreds of subscriptions we read on a regular basis


Signal Strengthener

Your $50 gift will help provide the radio and broadcast signal that our listeners use to access Audio-Reader services



Your $100 gift will support Audio-Reader’s outreach endeavors so that blind and sight impaired individuals have access to the resources available to them



Your $250 gift will help ensure that the necessary studio and recording equipment are up to date for the 400 volunteers who record and broadcast materials for our listeners



Your $500 donation will ‘Give the Gift of Sight through Sound’ for thousands of listeners who rely on this service every day

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