Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Updated Monday 3/23/2020
With Douglas County Health issuing a "stay at home" order , Audio-Reader studios will be closed to all volunteers and visitors effective Tuesday March 24th.
Mission-essential staff will make limited trips to the office for some tasks essential to Audio-Reader operations. It is unclear how long this order will be in place, but we can expect to be on remote operations at least through the month of April.
Most staff are working from home, and are still available on their usual KU emails. Additionally, programming and volunteer coordination staff members Alison Beloin Dean and Nick Carswell will be available at their usual work phone numbers for volunteer and programming queries.
Hopefully we have all been practicing social distancing for some time now, as well as the now well-established hygiene practices to avoid the spread of germs . While this latest measure might seem to signal a new level of health threat, we have known something like this was coming for some time.
We hope you are all prepared to stay home, stay safe and stay well, both physically and mentally. We care about you all a tremendous amount, and look forward to the day we can resume normal operations here at Audio-Reader.
We know this step is only being taken as a measure to keep all of our volunteers, staff and the wider Lawrence community as safe as possible during this global pandemic.
Most importantly, we know with your help (see below), we can continue our mission to serve blind, visually-impaired and print-disabled individuals in Kansas, Missouri and beyond, throughout this public health crisis. They need us now more than ever.
Please take care of yourself and stay safe,
A New Way to Work: Reading from Home
In order to keep Audio-Reader services running normally, or as close to normal as we can manage, we are opening up our pool of home readers!
Firstly, we owe a big thank you to our amazing volunteers who have worked with us to take the plunge on home recording so far! We have successfully talked volunteers who have never recorded at home through the process to get them up to speed, learning some new technologies, and as of today, many are picking up regular assignments. Thank you!
Interested to give digital home reading a go? Here are a couple of things to bear in mind, for all prospective home readers:
- Home readers must be existing Audio-Reader volunteers who have passed the reading audition and completed new volunteer orientation. Prospective new volunteers, please visit this page to sign up as a volunteer
- You'll need a quiet place in your house to record
- Access to high-speed internet at home
- Good options for both recording and reading devices (this can either be one good computer, or a phone and another reading device like an iPad)
- Home readers will need to be comfortable with reading their publications from the internet
- Finally, you'll be expected to communicate via email, navigate online platforms like Dropbox and be able to troubeshoot technology issues independently
If you think any of the above sounds like a good fit for you, please email email@example.com for instructions on our Home Reader Survey. This will help us assess which volunteers have what tools available, and how we might work to help you create a home reading option.
Go Further with your Home Recording Setup
Purchase your own affordable "Plug and Play" home studio kit
To date, we have been working with volunteers based on what equipment and technological know-how you already have.
But we have also learned of some handy options that give folks a jump-start to make excellent quality home recordings and build home studios that are comfortable and very effective.
Audio-Technica have a bundle product that includes a microphone, headphones and a handy boom arm, that can all be connected by USB, so audio signal handling is extremely user-friendly.