Dec. 30, 2004

Contact: Lori Kesinger, Audio-Reader, (785) 864-4624; Janet Campbell, Audio-Reader, (785) 864-4603.

KU’s Audio-Reader to offer special descriptive broadcast of Rose Parade

LAWRENCE -- Watching the Tournament of Roses Parade is a New Year's Day tradition for many families, but the visual nature of a parade makes it difficult for someone with a sight impairment to enjoy the same opportunity.

Fortunately, blind and visually impaired listeners of the Kansas Audio-Reader Network at the University of Kansas will be able to enjoy a special audio-described broadcast of the Tournament of Roses Parade, courtesy of the Los Angeles Radio Reading Service in Reseda, Calif.

Audio-Reader will broadcast the descriptive version of the Rose Parade from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 1. This accessible rendition of the annual spectacle along Pasadena's famed Colorado Boulevard is a New Year’s Day tradition for Audio-Reader.

The City of Pasadena and a volunteer group coordinate three viewing areas along the parade route that are reserved for people with disabilities. One of the three viewing areas also features a section with audio description for visually impaired people and a section with sign interpreters. The audio description is broadcast live nationwide to reading services, such as the Kansas Audio-Reader Network, that provide programs for the blind and print-disabled.

A Braille Rose Parade program, which includes detailed descriptions of each float, band and equestrian unit in order of procession, is available via mail, and a special four-track recorded version of the Rose Parade highlights is also available on cassette. Copies are mailed free of charge anywhere in the United States by calling toll-free (800) BRAILLE (272-4553).

“ We are pleased that Audio-Reader has been able to offer the live audio-described version of the Rose Parade to our listeners for more than a decade,” said Janet Campbell, Audio-Reader director. “It's a holiday tradition that our listeners look forward to and we are honored to provide it. It's definitely popular.”

Offered as a public service by KU, Audio-Reader is a reading and information service for blind and print-disabled individuals in Kansas and western Missouri. For more information about Audio-Reader, call (800) 772-8898. Audio-Reader's services are available free of charge.

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