Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic

A facebook contact joked, "How awful it must be to be blind and dyslexic at the same time."

So, without giving up my day job and completely divesting what little time into auditions, workshops and low paying entry gigs into the world of voice acting, I've instead decided to volunteer to read for the blind.

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic is a non profit, nation wide organization dedicated to making written material available to the visually impaired and cognitively challenged. It started over sixty years ago when a woman named Anne T. Macdonald began reading to veterans of WWII who had returned without their sight, having lost it do to injury or illness while in the service. It eventually became more than the New York Library's Women's Auxiliary could do alone and soon it became a nation wide organization.

I drive by the school of the blind often enough to see the sign for the studios (there's also a state run organization) and I hear about volunteer opportunities on the local NPR affiliate KUT quite a bit. I decided to go.

This is going to be rad.

Coming from a theater background, I have a bit of an ego-centrism issue; I like hearing the sound of my own voice. It's probably more than just wanting to talk, I actually like reading aloud. For a while I'd read to Ms. A so she could go to sleep. I'm sure it was a combination of someone's voice and the science fiction or science material that put her out, but I enjoyed it and would read till I went hoarse. I love reading to the kids and if I didn't have this, I might have tried to get in on the story time events book stores do (except those are always on a Wednesday at like 9am.)

The added benefit is the material I'd be reading is all educational. There are requests for fiction, but for the most part the RFBD focuses on text books. It's their mission to provide educational materials, so there will be a lot of reading of history, chemistry, sociology and a lot of foreign language. Sitting in with a couple people last night, I listened to a recap of most of the political events of the late 1960's.

The studio on 45th and Burnet is quite nice too. It's small and cozy with 7 or so recording booths, some offices and a lot of reference and training material. I've only gone in twice, but the staff is very friendly and the two volunteers I worked with last night were equally as amicable.

I'm really excited.

This is also the time where I say that if you're looking to volunteer, RFBD is always looking for more volunteers. If you can't but know someone who might like it, tell them about it.

Carry on.

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