Saturday morning plastic pouches drop on to the doormats of many visually impaired citizens of Dacorum. The Dacorum Talking Newspaper has arrived, giving to those unable to read the local paper an hour of recorded news and other useful information.
From its early days in 1977 and 1978 and a fortnightly production, it is now produced weekly and has a circulation of over one hundred sight impaired listeners. Although there are new ways to listen, many still receive their weekly news via memory sticks. These listeners have been given an MP3 player through which to hear the recordings. Check out the other ways to listen on the help pages.
New listeners receive an introductory recording which includes the history of the DTN telling them "How it all began" as well as an Amenities Information recording. This latter includes (in alphabetical order) the majority of local services and amenities e.g. Social Services, Transport etc.
Saturday's recording includes news from the current week's local papers, together with an "Information Slot" (up to date items for the blind and partially sighted), Obituaries, What's On in entertainment and lighting up times, all achieved by the well tried but unrivalled process of teamwork - or in this case - the work of several teams.
Thursday evening sees the Reading team gather - four news readers, a recording technician and a Duty Editor. The Editor has created an hour long programme from the local edition of the local paper together with added roving reports from several local organisations. As the items are read they are recorded onto a Computer by the duty technician.
We have close on 100 listeners. The service is free, as is the postage to any sight impaired person. The Charity is entirely dependent on voluntary donations as it has no permanent sponsorship from any local authority or business.
To maintain this weekly service costs in excess of £1,000 p.a. Should you know of anyone visually impaired in Dacorum who might like to receive the Talking Newspaper, please contact the Secretary.