March 2009

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A teacher helps a student learn how to properly use a RFB&D audio textbook while following along in the book.
Networking Central

Recording For The Blind And Dyslexic
Bringing focus to the written word.

-- Bonnie Marcus

Imagine a Jewish scholar – a person reading a book. For the blind and dyslexic, this scholarship may seem like an unreachable goal. For them, traditional Jewish learning, scientific study, and other education can be challenging if not inaccessible because they cannot read the written word. But, you can help!

A number of years ago, I saw a notice on a bulletin board at work (I am a scientist) soliciting readers for textbooks. My daughter and her husband do topical reading for the blind and they are very enthusiastic about it. Since the studio looking for readers was very close to my home, I decided to check it out. What I found was an opportunity not only to give, but to receive.

The organization is Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic – Learning Through Listening® www.learningthroughlistening.org on how to teach children to listen effectively and has community outreach programs to meet and help faculty and parents use the program effectively.

I am a specialty reader in the sciences and rarely see any other books, so I have browsed the catalogue to see what’s available in other areas. I was very pleased to see that the list of available titles includes many books on Judaism ranging from “Dawn” and “Night “ by Elie Wiesel to topical books such as “The Case for Israel” by Alan Dershowitz. There is also “The Haftoroth” by Judaica Press for those studying for a B’nai Mitzvah – you can find the text, translation and explanation for all the Haftaroth for the year. There are many comparative religion books, and a few Hebrew-language books. It would be great to build up their library of Jewish books recorded in Hebrew.

So, what do I receive from RFB&D? I get the satisfaction of knowing that I have helped someone to understand the written word and assisted him or her in the learning process. I also know that the recorded book can be a resource for my student.

Why do I do it? I do it because I cannot imagine a life without reading and books, and I want as many people as possible to have access to them. I also do it because it’s fun; the people who volunteer are a dedicated lot and we enjoy each other.

So, if you are interested in seeing how you can help to produce an audio book that will help someone to learn, think about looking for a studio near you and volunteering. If you live in the Philadelphia area, we have one in King of Prussia.

If your child or a child you know could benefit from this service, consider RFB&D as a resource. If you have an employee who needs additional training, check the list of available books or join and request that a book be recorded.

To view previous editions of "Networking Central", please click here.

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