Smile Politely

Vintage Vinyl sale keeps radio service free for visually impaired

Illinois Radio Reader’s largest fundraiser, the annual Vintage Vinyl sale, takes place Saturday, May 4, in a new location — 40 E. University Ave. in Champaign, just east of Seven Saints Restaurant and across the street from the Illinois Terminal.

“We have a great selection of not only outstanding LPs, but CDs and music equipment this year,” said Deane Geiken, event organizer and director of Illinois Public Media’s Illinois Radio Reader program.

The sale opens with a $5 admission fee from 8 to 11 a.m. There’s no fee from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Doors close from 3-4 p.m. to prepare for the half-price sale from 4-6 p.m.

The sale offers thousands of used LP records, CDs, DVDs, 45s, cassettes and audio equipment at bargain prices, and provides funding for Illinois Radio Reader (IRR). Proceeds of the sale allow IRR services to reach more visually impaired people with services that enable users to remain self-sufficient by providing recorded readings of local newspapers and other print media, including sales flyers.

IRR has more than 500 patrons who receive services for free, Geiken said. “However, there are more than 2,520 individuals in the Champaign-Urbana area alone who qualify for this service. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding, they don’t have access to the radios needed to receive the IRR service,” Geiken said. Users include a range of people who can’t comfortably read standard print or hold a book or turn pages, including those who are blind, have macular degeneration, or have muscular dystrophy.

“It is a very easy thing for a sighted person to get the latest news and information from the newspaper or Internet, or to browse the obituaries or grocery store ads,” Geiken said. “But print-impaired people can’t open up the newspaper or easily search the Internet from their cell phone to find out what’s happening in their community and the world.”

For more information about the Vintage Vinyl sale, visit the sale’s Facebook page at Vintage Vinyl 2013.

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