A Nice Surprise

THREE Telephone Information Service (TID) for the visually impaired volunteers were recognised for their long service last week.
Narrators Ewen Rendal and Jill Lindsay and narrator and co-ordinator Brian Railton, all of Invercargill, have been reciting the news for the TIS for about 15 years.

TIS volunteers read printed news items which were recorded as they spoke, Mr Railton said. Visually impaired users of the service could then phone a number and stay informed with local news by listening to the narrated items.
Mr Railton said the work was about “expanding (people’s) worlds – this is really the heart and soul of it, allowing (visually impaired people to keep pace with society”.

The trio of volunteers met for the first time at Mr Rendal’s home where they were awarded certificates in recognition of their work by Blind Foundation recreation and volunteer co-ordinator Annemarie Hope-Cross, of Invercargill.  During the get-together, Mr Rendal and Mrs Lindsay were amused to discover that while they had both independently been narrated news for the blind from their home phones over the years, they’d also worked for rival companies within the meat industry.

Ms Hope-Cross said the service, which was appreciated by the visually impaired of Southland, relied heavily on volunteers and she was seeking more narrators.

• Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the Blind Foundation’s Invercargill office on 03 218 3927, or the national call centre on 0800 243 333 and ask for the Invercargill office.

Hayden Williams, Southland Express 25 May 2017