A program of Home Instead Senior Care Foundation

Radio Talking Book Network

Omaha, Nebraska

Our Progress
$1,750.00 $2,500.00

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Description of project

Radio Talking Book Network (RTBN), founded in 1974, is Nebraska's only radio reading service. Over 70 RTBN volunteers read print media aloud, either live or as a recording, and their diverse voices are broadcast throughout Nebraska over the radio and internet to blind, low vision, or print impaired listeners. RTBN programming includes: readings from 12 regional newspapers, including the Grand Island Independent and Scottsbluff Star Herald as well as live daily readings of the Omaha World Herald and Lincoln Journal Star; weekly regional grocery and department store ads; current information from over 70 magazines; and more. Nearly all these publications would otherwise be inaccessible to our listeners.

RTBN features local nonprofits and agencies on our Community Conversations, a live interview program; a Veterans Hour; and special programming features. For example, last year, RTBN volunteers recorded the League of Women Voters voting guides for the primary and midterms to be aired in the weeks leading up to the elections. Following the 2016 election, Margaret from Omaha called to say, "Thank you for airing the League of Women Voters Guide. The information helped me so much as I voted for the first time in years." In 2018, RTBN added the Omaha Star, Kearney Hub, and Hastings Tribune to our newspaper readings and introduced a weekly statewide Community Calendar. RTBN programming brings our listeners' communities to them, delivered with care by our volunteer readers. The voices of RTBN inform, entertain, and alleviate isolation, which often affects people with diminishing vision, providing listeners with companionship.

This human and personal presentation reaches listeners via one of RTBN's radio receiver options, familiar, easy-to-use mediums provided at no cost to eligible individuals and care facilities. RTBN's internet stream can be accessed on: our website; personal computers and tablets; two smart phone apps; smart speakers such as Alexa; and two internet radio options. In 2018, three Methodist Hospital locations in Omaha and Council Bluffs implemented RTBN in their facilities using Barix boxes. RTBN began podcasts of our daily live newspaper reading in November 2017 and added weekly department store and grocery ads to the podcast offerings in early 2018. These podcasts are available on our website and iTunes. Warren, a listener from Lincoln, uses a Google Home to listen to the ads every Wednesday at noon, and called to say, "Thank him [volunteer Matthew Leaf] for reading the HyVee ads. I know it's a lot of work and I sure appreciate it!"

More about us

The Radio Talking Book Network (RTBN), founded in 1974, is Nebraska's audio companion and only radio reading service. RTBN programming includes readings from 12 regional newspapers, weekly grocery and...read more

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Donate Towards Our Mission

Radio Talking Book Service (RTBS) serves the state of Nebraska and southwest Iowa with a mission to provide human-voiced information choices to individuals who have disabilities that prevent them from...read more

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