CRIS Radio: Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World

CRIS Radio,Shattered LIves, Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice

“Open a new window, Open a new door, Travel a new highway, that’s never been tried before…” 

From The Broadway Musical….Auntie Mame

Such is the essence of CRIS Radio- the Connecticut Radio Information System Inc. these days; under the leadership of accomplished journalist and technology savvy Diane Weaver Dunne.   Diane and CRIS’s Board of Directors created a vision to meet the needs of selected populations and venues never addressed before…   The outcome was revolutionary in comparison to its humble beginnings as solely a “Talking Newsstand”…. forever changing the landscape to include educational curriculums, ethnic minority friendly publications, children’s hospitals, skilled nursing homes and independent living settings just to name a few…

cris-logoJust imagine… not being able to keep up with what’s going on in our world. Suppose you cannot read due to dyslexia (like Ennis Cosby) or have a form of cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease…or you are legally blind or visually impaired. What if you broke your arm and couldn’t work your Kindle or other electronic device? Having a disability, whether temporary or permanent does not mean you have to live a “Shattered Life” Not at all!

Ladyjustice and Delilah spent a fast paced hour with Diane to learn more about this truly transformed reader service over the airwaves (Although also maintaining its roots)  which currently serves 18,000 people who are blind or print handicapped while embracing technology in all it s glory with unlimited potential in 2013.  Refer the written highlights and questions below…

To listen to the podcast, CLICK HERE

  • Introduction to our guest;
  • Ladyjustice’s  commentary on her paying job  and disability; a basic definition of legal blindness;
  • State of Connecticut Department of Rehabilitation Services- Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind and their   affiliation with CRIS Radio;
  • The main goals of CRIS Radio…and what they do on a daily basis;
  • The focus of the previous 32 years….;
  • Children’s programming…  The needs and what research shows…. The benefit of the human voice;
  • Local celebrities….
  • The broadcast center and satellite studios…..
  • Pre-recorded publications and the importance of knowing about community events;
  • “Pork chops on sale”…..and a request from the State of Vermont;
  • How CRIS Radio traditionally, operated …and the appearance of on-demand programming…
  • Other technological devices…options;
  • Delilah asks about the specific types of children’s programs offered –in English & Spanish -All award winning magazines….
  • Diane discusses the new venture collaborating with educators in 46 states;
  • Brain science research regarding print handicapped paired with audio learning…;
  • Discussion of Governor Malloy’s dyslexia and a recent event expanding services to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center;
  • Ladyjustice’s comment on her former hospital stays…without CRIS Radio;
  • Discussion about collaborative partners…including Comcast;
  • Is it possible to start a radio reading service from scratch? Many partners make light work….BUT… the reality of the recession;
  • The scope of CRIS’s broadcasting…
  • If there are states, schools or hospitals who would like services, contact;
  • National partners on the horizon in hospitals…and human narration;
  • Training volunteer readers…. the demographics;
  • TEAM ESPN…. A new venture with volunteers;
  • Radio internships…. and the challenges…
  • Content and audio description of graphics;
  • CRIS in Espanol;
  • CRIS Access for Museums- QR Codes, technology at work…
  • Discussion of the advances with technology and use of internet radios in eldercare facilities;
  • Delilah asks about other informational programming other than print materials?  What is the outreach? Diane discusses Focus line programming re disability needs; and emergency planning;
  • Delilah brings up the issues of safety and domestic violence for those with disabilities etc. as a public service;
  • Ladyjustice’s blessing of this radio show and her ability to convey messages with the written word;
  • Diane’s take on a radio journalist;
  • Diane’s evolution  to this point in her career – the rewards

Questions to be answered within this podcast:

  • What was the philosophy of the founder of CRIS Radio?
  • What are some of the unmet needs and changes happening today?
  • How do volunteers accomplish the task of reading 70 magazines and newspapers?
  • What are the live programs?
  • How do legally blind volunteers participate?
  • What are the most popular features?
  • What is the scope of radio reading services across the nation?
  • What are the costs and the variety of benefits to download the recordings?
  • A custom opportunity for educators partnering with CRIS concerning their common core curriculum… What’s it all about?
  • What is the key to increase reading levels with audio version reading material?
  • What is “the first in the nation” accomplishment offered to hospitalized children?
  • How many children are served via the internet and streaming content within CT Children’s Medical Center?
  • What are the barriers to starting or continuing a reader service?
  • What are the criteria to get an audition and become a reader?
  • What’s the 24/7 operation like?
  • What are they doing to address ethnic minority needs?
  • What is the pilot project regarding what’s available at selected museums;
  • How much do internet radios cost?
  • What is the potential to expand regarding an exchange of programming between CRIS radio and Imagine Publicity…and beyond?
  • What is involved in creating a national model for audio access-academic, multicultural and museum experiences?

CRIS Radio: Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World

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