We at WVTF and RADIO IQ recognize that nearly 20,000 individuals in the listening area have some type of print disability. Sight difficulties cover a wide spectrum from total blindness to the inability to distinguish standard newsprint without a magnifying device.
The Radio Reading Service (RRS) is a public service of the Virginia Tech Foundation and WVTF/RADIO IQ operating on our subcarrier, a "hidden" portion of the FM signal that cannot be picked up by traditional receivers. Each day of the year, listeners to our Radio Reading Service can enjoy a program mix of readings from local, regional and national newspapers and magazines, thanks to volunteer readers and to the fundraising efforts of the New Vision, a local non-profit agency which provides FM-SCA receivers on a permanent loan to qualified residents in our listening area.
New Vision has helped support our Radio Reading Service since 1981. It is the Mission of the Voice of the Blue Ridge to provide various services to meet the needs of the blind, visually impaired, and others with print handicaps. For more information about The Voice of the Blue Ridge and their important work, visit their web site.
To pick up our Radio Reading Service, listeners need a "subcarrier" receiver (FM-SCA receiver). The process of qualifying for one of these receivers is simple. The RRS requires that a receiver application form be filled out by the listener (or family member). A portion of the application must also completed by a medical professional or public welfare agent to verify the need for the special radio which we provide free of charge.
The RRS relies on a volunteer base of more than 100 dedicated "on-air" readers. There is no set volunteer schedule. Some of our volunteers prefer to work weekly, while the majority make themselves available on an on-call basis. To explore volunteer opportunities with our Radio Reading Service please Email us anytime or call us 9:00-5:00 M-F at 800-856-8900 or 800-856-8900 (VA, WV, NC, TN).