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AIRSLA

Audio Internet Reading Service of Los Angeles


More Information About AIRS

AIRS SUMMARY MISSION STATEMENT STATEMENT OF PURPOSE


President's Message

If you can read this, you have no difficulty in obtaining the information you need for your daily life!

Blind and print-impaired people have great difficulty in obtaining that information. Understanding that need, a group of concerned volunteers has formed the Audio Internet Reading Service of Los Angeles (AIRS), an Internet-based radio station that broadcasts to those who have limited or no vision.

Our current programs include sections from daily newspapers and magazines, store ads, voter information, vision research news, theater reviews, consumer product information, and much more, all geared to the needs of the print-impaired community.

Historically, radio reading services have employed FM broadcast sub carriers as their medium. We chose the Internet because coverage is universal and without boundaries. Programs can be received on any computer or, by those who do not use a computer, on an Internet radio.

Most of our volunteers are experienced in broadcasting to the blind. At the moment, our "studio" is a room in the home of one of our volunteers. Soon this temporary home will have to be replaced by a real studio, for which we will have to pay real rent.

What we need now is the money to continue broadcasting. $30,000 will keep us on the air, and allow us to continue operating for a year - if we don't need to rent a studio. At that time, we will need an additional $35,000 annually for rent and other studio expenses.

If you can help us, the blind and print-impaired community of Los Angeles will be very grateful. Your contribution will be used entirely for the operation of the service. More detailed information about AIRS is included here. If you have questions, you can contact us at 818-860-2806 or at P.O. Box 571142, Tarzana, CA 91357.

Thank you.

Richard Burden - President

AIRS Summary

The blind, low-vision and print-impaired people of the greater Los Angeles area are in constant need of current information that they are unable to obtain from conventional sources, such as newspapers, magazines, and books. An increasing number of those individuals have and use computers. AIRS, The Audio Internet Reading Service of Los Angeles, brings to that community - adults and children - the information and entertainment they seek through the audio signal from their computers - at no cost to them.

Because you can use printed material, you have access to newspaper edditorials and columns, store advertisements, consumer product information, theater reviews, voter information, health updates, and all of the other information you need in your daily life. Those who are blind or have low vision have little or no access to any of this vital material. Yet their need for it is no less than yours.

Now there is a practical solution to the problem of access. All of this information, and much more, is easily and conveniently conveyed to our audience through the audio system of their computers. By using the Internet to disseminate this information, our listeners receive it through their ears, rather than through their eyes. In the past, this has been possible only by the use of a special radio. The internet eliminates the cost and inconvenience of that radio, as well as its limited range. Computers are no longer a novelty; for many blind and low-vision people, they are a necessity. Their numbers increase daily. And for those without computer access, radios that receive Internet programs are available.

Currently we are podcasting the majority of our programs, including, editorials from the Los Angeles Times, Fry’s Electronics advertisements, selections from Readers Digest, consumer information from Consumer Reports®, theater reviews, voter information, popular magazines, and selections from the Spanish language newspaper, La Opinion. The listener can hear these programs at any time. Occasionally we do a live (streaming) program, such as the Braille Challenge. We plan to do more of those. Programs such as store advertisements and TV schedules are kept on the website only for short periods, then replaced by the current information. Other shows, such as vision research articles, science updates, consumer information, and selections from magazines, are kept on the website for longer periods.

We join with the Braille Institute of America, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and the Center for Low Vision to announce news of upcoming seminars and conferences on vision loss research. Podcasts of those seminars are kept on our website. New programs are constantly being added. We expect that many of the subjects will be of interest to an audience well outside of the Los Angeles area. The Internet makes our free programs accessible to a worldwide audience.

The board of directors and staff of this non-profit corporation is composed entirely of volunteers, all of whom have experience in broadcasting to this type of audience.

AIRS Mission Statement

To broadcast to the blind and print-impaired, a variety of news, information, and entertainment that is otherwise inaccessible.

AIRS Statement of Purpose

The Audio Internet Reading Service of Los Angeles is incorporated in the state of California as a non-profit, public benefit corporation and has a 501(c)(3), public charity designation from the Internal Revenue Service. Our Tax ID number is 11-3774209.

Our goal is to enable our audience to participate in the life of the community with as few restrictions as possible. That entails providing them with the information they need to understand the community, both in the form of hard news and with information about current events, restaurants, transportation, and local entertainment.

We will join and coordinate with other organizations for the blind and those with low-vision to disseminate information about current research in vision loss.

We will read current newspapers, magazines and books and produce entertainment programs geared to the wishes of our listeners - adults and children. Toward that goal, we will constantly solicit feedback from them as to the kind of programs they need and want.

AIRS will have on-air guests who, themselves, are blind or print-impaired or who are knowledgeable in matters of concern to our target audience. When possible, we will give the listeners a chance to interact with our guests.

Through the Internet, we will be able to reach an almost unlimited number of people. Some of our programs will be live; others recorded (podcast). By podcasting on the Internet, we allow listeners to hear any of our programs at their convenience, a major advantage and vast improvement over a subcarrier signal, which requires a special radio and must be heard at the time of the original broadcast.

Initially we intend to be “on the air” on a limited daily schedule. Our podcast programs accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

With feedback and cooperation between AIRS and its audience, we can make our station an indispensable and vital force in the blind and print-impaired community.

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