Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I receive your output if I am not registered blind?

Most definitely, yes. If you are unable to read standard (N12) newspaper print, then we are happy for you to receive our publications. No means tests are necessary.

2. Can I receive the Talking Newspaper if I live outside the Birmingham area?

Yes, you can. You may also wish to bear in mind that there are a number of local Talking Newspapers situated in towns around Birmingham which may be more appropriate to your needs. (Please see our Links page)

3. How will I receive the Talking Newspaper? 

We will provide you as a new listener with a player totally free of charge. Each week you will receive a pouch with a memory stick which fits into the player. Alternatively, you can listen weekly online to our publications and also through our good friends, British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF) through one of their players. For more information about BWBF go to www.blind.org.uk .  Please see our Technical Developments Page for more information.

4. What happens if I do not return my Talking Newspaper one week through illness or holidays?

Each new listener is allocated two pouches to send out your memory stick so we can cover a week without return. If you can, please advise us if you are unable to receive the Talking Newspaper for two or more weeks. Please put a simple note in your pouch if possible. Thanks.

5. How much does your service cost?

This is a FREE public service and we are delighted to provide it free of charge. The cost of postage is fully paid by the government who subsidise Royal Mail for this purpose. The digital players are also part of this FREE service.

6. Can I make a donation to the Talking Newspaper?

We are a registered charity so all donations are welcome. We do not receive any funds from local or central government or any Lotteries. If you feel you wish to help please send your donation to our Treasurer whose details are given on the ‘Contact’ page.

7. Can I receive the Talking Newspaper if I have a non visual disability?

Yes, you are able to receive the Talking Newspaper but depending on the nature of your disability, we might need to ask you to pay the postage as the free postage available under the Royal Mail’s ‘Articles for the Blind’ concession may not apply.

8. Can I receive my Talking Newspaper by audio tape or CD?

I’m sorry this is not possible. However, our players have been specially designed for blind and partially sighted people. Feedback that has been received indicates that listeners like the new players and are pleased with the improvement in sound quality from their recordings. Please see our Technical Developments Page for more information.

9. What does your output consist of?

Each week we produce a digest of local news relevant to the area of Birmingham where listeners reside (North or South). We produce a weekly magazine which contains generally longer items all relating to the blind, partially sighted and local communities. Items include interviews and quizzes and regular features such as Thought for the Week, Noticeboard, Cookery Corner, From the Potting Shed, Bookshelf and Theatre Break as well as series about Birmingham topics. There is also a monthly magazine. We are also featuring U3A (University of the Third Age) English History Talks and there is a Monthly News Supplement to complete our output.

10. Do you have any visually impaired listener representatives with whom I could chat and give feedback?

We have two representatives; one for each area of Birmingham (North, South). Their details are given on the Weekly News recordings.

11. Can I obtain a recording to try out before receiving your service on a regular basis?

Certainly, and do let us know what you think!

12. Who do I contact to discuss about the Talking Newspaper?

Each area has a co-ordinator (North, South). Their contact details are given out on the News recordings each week. Otherwise please go to the ‘Contact’ page for details of alternative contacts.

13. How do I introduce a relative/neighbour/friend or even myself to the Talking Newspaper? 

Simply phone or email our Administrator, Kath Dawe, on 0300 330 1404 or email info@btna.org.uk who will be delighted to help you.

14. How does your service operate? 

We will send your recording in a plastic pouch. Simply reverse the address label on the pouch after listening to it and post back to us ready for the next edition.

15. Do you produce material in other languages? 

We regret that our material is only produced in English. Local Arabic Talking News is produced in Stourbridge by Pocklington Trust. Please contact them at www.pocklington-trust.org.uk  or telephone 01384 889884

16. What other services are available for the blind and visually impaired? 

We have tried to schedule just a few of these organisations which provide a whole hosts of services in our ‘Links’ page. Please follow the links to their websites.

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