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 organization
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.owlradio.org.