Bringing local news to the vision impaired
VISION-impaired people on the Gold Coast are now able to keep in touch with local news and events thanks to a new community project.
The Newstalk Audio Magazine was launched earlier this month at a function in Elanora attended by about 20 people including Member for McPherson Margaret May, Member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey, Cr Daphne McDonald, representatives from Vision In Paradise, BAVIA and VIP Palm Beach and the Southern Gold Coast 60 and Better.
Elaine Cramp, a 60 and Better member whose vision has deteriorated due to macular degeneration, originally put forward the idea of having a Gold Coast local news tape for vision impaired people.
The idea was taken up by her management committee which succeeded in obtaining grants for equipment from the Gold Coast Community Development Fund and funds for a project officer from the Queensland Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
The Newstalk Audio Magazine for Vision Impaired was developed, involving a CD covering a variety of interests including local news and events, human interest stories, creative and special interest stories as well as information, products and services for the vision impaired.
The project has drawn a variety of talented and creative people from the community, volunteering their time and energy to narrate and produce the CDs.
Project officer Shane Proctor said there was a great recognition among volunteers for the need to provide a way for the vision impaired to 'hear' what was happening in their local community and help to reduce some of the isolation felt by being print handicapped.
"The potential for this project to reach out to disabled or disadvantaged people in our community is enormous," Ms Proctor said.
The recording equipment, installed by Harvey Norman at Bundall, is providing an opportunity for many of the production team to learn new skills while creating a worthwhile product for the com- munity.
"We are on a steep learning curve with this technology and are having a lot of fun at the same time anyone with experience in this field would be more than welcome to join our production team," Ms Proctor said.
The first Newstalk CD is now available through the Southern Gold Coast 60 and Better Program, phone (07) 5525 6466.