A blind person’s world is completely different to that of sighted people and they need new ways to find out the information that surrounds them. Radio creates a fantastic opportunity for the blind or partially sighted to keep up to date with the world, removing the need for braille newspapers which are not cost-effective.
Sound is a sense that blind people rely on in many instances that allow them to interpret their surroundings, it stands to reason then that the radio would offer great value to a blind person. Contrary to popular belief, the radio is a vital tool for blind people and here’s why:
The Importance of Radio
- Keeps them informed and current of the world around them from politics to culture
- It’s Less strenuous for a blind person to get the information. With books, it can be mentally taxing to read with the fingers and then process that information, particularly in larger chunks.
- It’s quicker than reading!
- It offers entertainment value which can help blind users feel less alone
Best Radio Stations for Blind or Partially Sighted People
There are many radio stations that cater directly to the blind, they aim to offer accessibility and entertainment so here are some of the best options:
BBC Ouch Podcast
The disability network on the BBC offers a regular podcast which aims to be informative, humorous and discusses relevant topics to disability and discussion. They also often feature disable performers such as a one-handed saxophone or others who aren’t letting their disabilities define them.
In Touch on Radio 4 Show
BBS’s Radio 4 features a regular radio segment aimed directly at the blind or partially sighted. Although it’s not an entire station, it focuses on relaying news and important stories directly in an accessible way to those who are blind.
RNIB Connect Radio Station
The Royal National Institute of the Blind radio station was one of the first in Europe that was created entirely for blind people. This radio doesn't play only a different kind of music, but also it has a podcast of a different type of radio programs, interviews, and very interesting human stories.
Accessible Radio Websites:
While not a radio station, Blindradio.co.uk is an accessible website that aims to work with screen readers so that blind people can find radio stations suited to their disability easily. There a variety of options from smaller disco, electronic music, to contemporary options and news.
Reading & Radio Resource
Well what sort of unofficial list would this be if we didn’t mention Reading & Radio Resource which aims to bring programs to North Texas as well as recording tapes to lend blind people so that they can read in an accessible way.
The key point to note is that there are plenty of resources available to the blind, particularly when it comes to radio and if you know where to look, you’ll be able to find a variety of programs and channels to suit!