The Talking Information Center (TIC), an award-winning, statewide radio reading service for people who are visually impaired or print-handicapped, announces its 30th anniversary of service to Massachusetts residents and beyond. Staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers across the Commonwealth will begin festivities featuring the June 4th Radio Reading Day 2008. Hosted by Mary Richardson, co-anchor of WCVB-TV Channel 5's Chronicle, the special event will be broadcast live from the State House in Boston.
The non-profit TIC utilizes the talents of over 600 volunteers in studios throughout Massachusetts, providing free access to the printed word and audience-specific information through timely broadcast programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We have come a very long way since 1978, when we launched our commitment to 'turning print into sound'," stated Ron Bersani, Executive Director and co-founder, Talking Information Center. "This service is so important in helping people lead independent, informed, productive lives that we know it will continue to play a vital role in the future. Our anniversary is a great achievement, and we wish to thank all of our friends and supporters who give so much, so that others may stay informed."
On June 19, TIC officially celebrates 30 years of existence.
In recognition of this achievement, TIC is sponsoring Radio Reading Day 2008, slated for Wednesday, June 4. In the Great Hall at the Statehouse in Boston from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., this live radio broadcast will feature elected officials, members of the media, and other notable volunteers giving short readings of informational and cultural material to TIC's audience. Representatives from TIC affiliates in Mashpee, Framingham, Lowell, Worcester, Springfield, and Dalton will also be present.
TIC seeks to enable its listening audience to lead inclusive independent and productive lives. It does this via volunteer reading services broadcast over low-power radio frequencies, cable audio channels, and the Internet to over 20,000 people from Cape Cod to the Berkshires, Lowell to Springfield, including southern New Hampshire and areas of Connecticut. Local and national daily newspapers, 20 weekly papers, current magazines, consumer information, and serialized books are typical of the offerings found on the schedule. But, its programs are not just for those who are blind, legally blind or visually impaired. Anyone who cannot hold a publication or turn pages qualifies for the service as well, and it is provided free of charge."We tell people we're just like NBC, CBS, or FOX," explained Virginia Sung, TIC Program Director. "Just a little smaller."
About Talking Information Center – located at 130 Enterprise Drive in Marshfield - is the only source of much of the information needed by residents of Massachusetts and beyond who are unable to see or hold print materials, and includes talk shows produced by people with disabilities on relevant topics that deal with reading challenges. Founded by Ed Perry of Duxbury and Ron Bersani of Marshfield, TIC's humble beginnings were launched in 1978 and included borrowed equipment, ten listeners, six volunteer readers and no paid staff. They operated the service from a tiny studio on the third floor of radio station WATD-FM in Marshfield. Today, TIC has grown to include affiliates in Mashpee, Framingham, Lowell, Worcester, Springfield, and Dalton. Over 23,000 people throughout Massachusetts and surrounding areas depend on TIC to provide them with the same information available to those with sight.For more information on Talking Information Center, call 800-696-9505 or visit www.ticnetwork.org; the mailing address is Box 519 Marshfield, 02050.