ST ALBANS & DISTRICT TALKING NEWSPAPER (FOR THE BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED)
Your local Talking Newspaper (‘SADTN’) helps to keep visually impaired residents in touch with what is happening in St Albans, Harpenden and the surrounding villages.
Each week, we send our audio programme (or ‘Talking Newspaper’) to more than 100 local listeners, aged between 40 and 95. The total number of our listeners increased by over 35% in the year 2014/15, largely thanks to recommendation by current listeners, word-of-mouth and reference by care homes, GP practices, opticians, clinics, and others. Since then, annual numbers have been as high as 124.
Our weekly programmes - between 60 and 120 minutes long - include news stories and readers’ letters from the Herts Advertiser and the St Albans & Harpenden Review, articles from other local and national sources including Hertfordshire Life, Saga, the National Trust and English Heritage Magazines (by permission of the publishers), interviews with local ‘celebrities’, information especially relevant to the visually impaired, previews of local music and arts events (amateur and professional), audio book reviews and discussions, ‘nature notes’ and more.
Delivered free by Royal Mail as ‘articles for the blind’, our programmes reach our listeners on a memory stick which they play back through an easy-to-use ‘boom box’ (provided by SADTN on free loan) or through their own computer. Volunteer readers record the news programmes and articles in our sound studio; other volunteers handle the recording, editing, copying and distribution.
Our weekly programmes as well as archives of interviews and other items can also be enjoyed on the ‘Listen Online’ page within our website (www.sadtn.org.uk). We are a regular weekly contributor to the ‘Local Life’ programme on Radio Verulam 92.6 FM (our local community radio) broadcast from 19.00-20.00 each Wednesday and on Sunday mornings from 9 till 10.
As a registered charity active since 1974 and run entirely by volunteers, SADTN uses gifts, donations, street collections and bequests to fund its operation and enable new listeners to be added. Our website explains how new listeners can sign up for our weekly programmes and how new volunteers can offer to help. We have welcomed volunteers aiming for their Duke of Edinburgh Award to work with us on special projects, and were pleased to participate in the local Dragons Apprentice Challenge at both Senior and Junior levels.