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Sun Cities area reading group expands services

More offerings to come

Posted 8/1/22

The volunteers at Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind expanded their service to the community and intend to expand further.

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Sun Cities area reading group expands services

More offerings to come


The volunteers at Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind expanded their service to the community and intend to expand further.

In addition to providing a weekly audio news magazine for people with low-vision who live in the West Valley, RRRB’s studio produces audio books. The studio produced 14 audio books for nine authors since late 2021. Some authors worked with an agent to market their work and make it available commercially. Others were more interested in making audio for family and friends. Two authors read their own work. RRRB volunteers read the rest.

Call 623-640-1219 for information on this service.

The organization’s latest project is providing audio files to K-12 students who have reading challenges. Whether it is a story or a portion of a textbook, if it’s not already available to the student in audio, RRRB’s volunteers can help. Anyone wanting more information about this project is invited to contact Linda Furman at 480-395-3930.

Audio files are also essential for businesses whose clientele can’t easily see to read. RRRB volunteers recently read and recorded legal forms for a local entity, assisting its effort to remove barriers to understanding in order that end-of-life decisions might be made. 

It was more than 50 years ago when a woman with a huge heart and an even bigger dream read the news onto cassette tapes and mailed them to people who couldn’t see to read for themselves. The work grew, as did the dream. RRRB, a 501(c)(3) organization, currently has 25 committed volunteers. Most are trained as narrators. Others manage administrative tasks and some are trained as directors. Leadership is provided by John Schumacher, who has been with RRRB for many years as program director and board member. The 7-member board is actively engaged and not content with the status quo, which explains service expansion and ongoing fundraising efforts. 

This summer, RRRB’s fundraising effort is focused on selling recipe books filled with recipes collected by its volunteers. Right now, $20, which includes shipping and handling, will buy this top-quality book of more than 150 recipes. Details are available at readingfortheblind.org/help-us.

Donations for RRRB, 9447 N. 99th Ave., Peoria are always welcome.    

RRRB’s volunteer services include the West Valley Talking News, a weekly audio news magazine. Print copy, taken from newspapers and magazines selected for timeliness, interesting content and variety, is read by trained volunteer narrators. The recordings are overseen by trained volunteer directors. The resulting audio files are compiled, encrypted and converted by trained volunteers. The result is copied to digital cartridges and mailed by volunteers every week, year-round, to people who sign up for the free service. All they need is an audio digital player, provided at no cost by the Arizona Talking Book Library to the qualified vision-challenged who apply for the player.

The West Valley Talking News is not limited to the vision-challenged. Content is available on a podcast accessible to anyone with internet. Go to readingfortheblind.org and click on the “listen” tab. The weekly podcasts are available by date and arranged by segment. For example, a listener who wants to listen to Fred Rothert read sports can click on that segment and ignore the rest. Or a listener curious about current business and financial goings on can click on Dan Zemke’s financial segment.

RRRB volunteers also read and record magazines and periodicals at the request of the Arizona Talking Book Library. These materials become part of the library’s content and available to their patrons upon request. Some patrons of the Talking Book Library ask for books to be read for their individual use, using the same digital cartridge media playable on the audio digital player provided by the library. RRRB volunteers provide that service. 

Contact RRRB’s recording studio at 623-933-0985 for more information about services provided, recipe book purchases, donations or about how to help the organization.

Tristan Chavez is with 10 to 1 Public Relations.