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Information Regarding Audio-Reader’s Loss of Funding from the University of Kansas

Image features an Audio-Reader radio with the Kansas Audio-Reader Network logo, a volume knob and the front speaker grill

For 47 years, the University of Kansas has supported Audio-Reader through an annual appropriation. Due to budget constraints, the university will gradually decrease its annual support during the next three fiscal years and cease support entirely by the fourth year. Specifically, funding will remain the same for the current fiscal year (FY19) and decrease to 50 percent of the current level for each of the two subsequent years before zeroing out in FY22.

Given KU’s budget situation, we understand the decision, and we appreciate KU’s long-term commitment to Audio-Reader through in-kind support, which includes providing a facility for Audio-Reader’s operation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Is Audio-Reader shutting its doors?

No. We at Audio-Reader remain dedicated to serving our listeners, and with support from volunteers, donors, and the community, we will work to ensure our services continue long into the future. We are not going away.

  • Are Kansas Public Radio (KPR) and Audio-Reader the same entity?

While Audio-Reader and KPR are located right next door to one another, essentially in the same building, they are two separate entities with separate budgets and staff. One director, Dan Skinner, oversees both entities, and some KPR staff members, like engineers and the bookkeeper, perform work for Audio-Reader and derive a portion of their salaries from Audio-Reader.

Audio-Reader uses KPR’s transmitters, as well as the transmitters of other public radio stations across the state, to broadcast our material 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to individuals who are blind, visually impaired, print disabled or have any other difficulty reading printed material.

  • How does the budget cut impact Audio-Reader staff?

We do not expect staff reductions for the current fiscal year (July 1st 2018 - June 30th 2019).

Current staff vacancies are unrelated to the budget cut and are due to be filled in the coming weeks.

  • As an Audio-Reader listener, can I expect a change in programming or services?

In the immediate, programs and services will be maintained at the current level. We will continue to work diligently to deliver content and information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, through our live radio broadcast, online streams, Telephone Reader service, Special Request program and Audio Description.

Audio-Reader will provide clear and timely communication of any planned program changes with our listeners, supporters and key constituents. We will continue to serve blind, visually impaired and print-disabled people of Kansas, Missouri and across the US to the best of our abilities, within our new funding structure.

  • What can I do to help?
  1. Make a donation to Audio-Reader! Click here
  2. Become a sustained giver! Download this form to arrange monthly electronic payment through KU Endowment - make sure you specify funds to be directed to Audio-Reader Network
  3. Encourage friends and family with businesses to become underwriters of Audio-Reader. For more information email Beth McKenzie
  4. Spread the word about the good work Audio-Reader does! Share and invite your friends to our events! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
  5. Join us at the For Your EARS Only Benefit Sale (Sept 14th & 15th at the Douglas County Fairgrounds)

Thank you for your continued support!

Read more news about Audio-Reader's budget cuts through Kansas Public Radio news reporting

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