The National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) has sent out a release (below) caling attention to the proposed cancellation of Audioscope, a weekly radio show on RTÉ that deals with a variety of issues around the blind/visually impaired communities. It’s presented by Bethan Collins, a stalwart of the accessibility debates in TCD and a well-known person-about-campus; she’s both student and teacher in occupational therapy. And it’s a good show – but more so, to many people, it’s a crucial connection and source of news and is exactly what a public service broadcaster should be doing.

There is a petition up on d’olde Internet. Please sign it! And yes I know all the problems with online petitions but this is a back-up to a direct, local lobbying effort and it builds moral support for that as well as whatever impact on the broadcaster. If you have time and are interested, add a personal comment when doing so, as they too will be useful to the NCBI in their work.

*NCBI URGES RTE TO REINSTATE PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCAST *

The National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) has called on new Radio
1 boss Ana Leddy to reverse the decision to scrap the only programme on
national radio dedicated to people who are blind and vision impaired.

While no official announcement has been made by RTE, NCBI understands that
RTE’s decision to remove the weekly programme was taken last Friday.

Des Kenny, Chief Executive of NCBI, said, “Audioscope has played a unique
and important role in Irish broadcasting for over 30 years now. Not only
does it provide news and information of specific interest to people who are
blind or vision impaired on the national airwaves, but it also increases
awareness of sight loss among the wider population.”

Mr Kenny added, “The numbers of people who are blind or vision impaired is
increasing annually. With an ageing population and increasing numbers of
people living with diabetes and other health issues, the need for RTE to
continue broadcasting Audioscope is greater than ever. It would be a real
blow if RTE were to scrap the programme now.”

NCBI is seeking a meeting with senior figures at RTE to discuss the future
of the programme.

*Ends*