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MEET A PATRON:

Rich Poncin: Audio Reading Service Patron

by Chad Butterbaugh, Senior Production Assistant, ARS

Fort Wayne resident Rich Poncin is a daily listener of the Allen County Public Library’s Audio Reading Service. The Audio Reading Service is a special service designed for and directed to people who have visual, physical, learning or language challenges to reading traditional printed materials because of blindness, low vision, a literacy issue, a language barrier, or a physical condition.

 

The service, with its corps of volunteer readers, produces and broadcasts readings of periodicals, books, and online news sources.

 

Rich, who retired to Fort Wayne with his wife after a career spent in computer programming in Chicago, enjoys listening to the Audio Reading Service’s daily broadcast of The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne’s daily newspaper. The Audio Reading Service broadcasts a live reading of The Journal Gazette every weekday morning and on Saturdays.

 

He enjoys, too, listening to local magazines during the remainder of the broadcast day. The Audio Reading Service reads selections from over 80 local and national publications over the week.

 

Rich has been blind since being injured in a car-pedestrian accident at the age of seven. He says that the readings he hears on the Audio Reading Service open up a world of information about current events that he would otherwise have a much more difficult time accessing.

 

“I’m better able to converse with others in my family,” he says, describing the impact of his daily listening to the service.

 

During his years in Fort Wayne, Rich has been an active member of the community. He started an a capella singing group with Workers for the Blind, singing with them in nursing homes to “give back to the community.”

 

Rich says he was a patron of one of the Audio Reading Service’s fellow audio information services in Chicago. Upon his move to northeast Indiana, he says, he was guided toward the Audio Reading Service by a staff member at Fort Wayne’s The League, a nonprofit organization whose vision is “full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life.”

 

He says he’s been listening since 2004 and has had a consistently positive experience with the Audio Reading Service’s product and staff.

 

For information on how to become an Audio Reading Service listener, just visit acpl.info/ars or call the service’s office at (260) 421-1376.

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