OWL RADIO
 READING
FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SEE

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Studios and Office Telephone:  (210) 829-4223
Office hours:  8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
Transmitting 24 hours a day 
 seven days a week

Owl Radio is a free community service of the Low Vision Resource Center and is co-sponsored by Texas Public Radio and the San Antonio Express-News.  The service provides daily radio broadcasts of newspapers, magazines and other information for persons who are unable to read regular print due to a visual, physical or reading impairment.  The service has been on the air continuously in San Antonio since March 6, 2002.  Service to the Hill Country began on January 10, 2005.  Owl Radio transmits its programming to special radio receivers provided to qualified applicants over subcarriers provided by Texas Public Radio.  The signals can be picked up within the greater San Antonio Metropolitan area and adjacent counties and in the Kerrville and Fredericksburg areas of the Hill Country.

     
Apply for a special Owl Radio receiver

The service is staffed primarily by volunteers who read the San Antonio Express-News for three hours daily from studios located at North Frost Center at Nacogdoches and Loop 410 in San Antonio.  The remainder of programming for the 24-hour service is provided by syndicated reading services for the blind.  Owl Radio is not funded by a state agency and depends on monetary contributions from individuals, foundations, corporations, special events, government grants and other organizations.

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The Need for Owl Radio

In Texas over 800,000 people have difficulty reading or are unable to read newspaper print.  In Bexar County alone, nearly 15,000 people are blind or visually impaired.  This estimate does not include the blind and visually impaired citizens of the counties surrounding San Antonio and in Kerr and Gillespie Counties in the Hill Country plus an uncounted number of people who are physically impaired by accident or stroke or other disability.

All these people are isolated in varying degrees from active involvement in the community.  For example, people who are blind or visually impaired have the highest rate of unemployment and underemployment of any measured group.  Owl Radio provides a means for helping people with print impairment to be active participants in society.  It is an effective way to inform, educate and improve the quality of life and help blind and other print impaired people become fully participating citizens of their community.

Owl Radio Benefits to the Community

  • Enhancing the quality of life for those who cannot read, reducing their feeling of isolation by providing a wide range of around-the-clock programming.
  • Developing a more aware citizenry by providing current information about community events and issues, thus helping increase the community involvement of people who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Involving the community through the use of volunteer organizers, readers, technical assistants and fundraisers, and through collaboration with other community organizations.

Owl Radio is an active member of the International Association of Audio Information Services.  As such, it draws upon the experience and advice of similar organizations in over 100 cities around the world who have been providing radio information services for the print impaired, in some instances, since the 1970s.

The objective of the Low Vision Resource Center, the parent organization of Owl Radio, is to assist those experiencing significantly reduced or total vision loss discover ways to continue daily activities and maintain their independence.  Another program of the Center is the San Antonio Low Vision Club, formed in 1997, which schedules monthly meetings including presentations designed to keep its 1000+ members informed about the latest medical research into eye diseases and how local resources can assist them.  For further information about the San Antonio Low Vision Club, visit www.lowvisionclub.org.


 
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   Resource Center
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