Guest Author - Carla Ruschival
The Audio Studio for the Reading Impaired (ASRI) is a volunteer-based organization that provides some much-needed services for the blind and visually impaired.
The Audio Studio primarily provides recording services for blind individuals, libraries and others. Its services are somewhat different from the average service of this type, because ASRI will record just what the person needs. This means that they are willing to skip around in a book, reading only required chapters or those in which the person is interested. They will take a college syllabus and follow it, keeping the student in sync with the rest of the class. They will read a single article from a magazine, or the entire magazine.
ASRI got its start over 30 years ago as a branch of Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. In the late 1970's RFB&D decided to close the studio, as it had two other locations in the area. A group of determined volunteers refused to close the operation, and in the early #aihj's ASRI became a separate, independent recording studio. Its liberal reading policies and flexibility set it apart from many other services of its kind.
ASRI is located in Louisville, Kentucky, but its reading services are not limited by state, region or geographic area. They read textbooks, magazines of all kinds, material for children as well as adults. They read for school and work, but they will read instruction manuals, leisure reading and hobby-related books and pamphlets as well.
Two other services provided by the Audio Studio are Braillewriter and tape player repair. These services are limited to Kentucky. ASRI volunteers gather each week at the Kentucky School for the Blind and repair, at no charge, Perkins braillers for any individual or school in Kentucky. These volunteers are well-trained, and the service has been ongoing for about fifteen years. Parts are provided by the Kentucky School for the Blind Charitable Foundation, and quality control is provided by a KSB retiree.
Another group of volunteers meet at the School for the Blind each week to keep tape players working for the Talking Book Library program throughout the state. Because no new tape players are being made for this program throughout the United States, this service is very important in order for blind people to be able to continue enjoying recorded books free of charge.
The Audio Studio charges a small fee per recorded tape to help cover operating costs of their reading program. They will record for anybody, anywhere; their only limitation is that they will not record pornographic materials.
ASRI reads every Monday through Thursday. For more information, contact the Audio Studio for the Reading Impaired by phone at (502)245-5422.