RENO -- Northern Nevada's public radio station has joined its southern Nevada counterpart to bring reading services to visually impaired listeners.
The new service offered by KUNR-FM, in partnership with KNPR-FM in Las Vegas, allows visually impaired listeners in Northern Nevada and Eastern California to listen to readings of local newspapers, including the Nevada Appeal and Reno Gazette-Journal.
Bobbi Lazzarone, KUNR's general manager, said anyone unable to read standard printed material because of a physical or learning disability is eligible to receive a special receiver needed to hear the service.
The service, which is beamed from a satellite, is free.
"We are grateful to KNPR, which has operated the radio reading service for nearly a decade and has been the driving force in making the service available to the rest of the state," Lazzarone said.
Volunteers in Las Vegas read the local publications. During periods when local material is not provided, national networks offer readings of national newspapers, magazines and books.
Construction of four satellite downlinks needed to provide the service was funded through a $47,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Wells Fargo Bank, Household Bank and Harrah's Entertainment provided matching funds.
The service is also available in Elko, Ely and Tonopah, Lazzarone said.
Visually impaired listeners must apply for the special radio receivers by filling out a form from KUNR. If they qualify, the reading service in Las Vegas, which takes newspaper stories off the Internet, will send the device to the visually impaired person.
To obtain a free receiver, call KUNR at (775) 327-5867.
TO GET HELP
Visually impaired listeners must apply for free reading service radio receivers by filling out a form from KUNR. Call the radio station at (775) 327-5867.