Post date: 
Thursday, 16 April 2020
Connect Radio presenter broadcasts from home with his guide dog

RNIB’s own radio station Connect Radio broadcasts live two-hour show the Daily Connect - live at 10am - to highlight all the information you should know during these difficult times.

The show, which runs until 12pm and is repeated at 4pm-6pm, includes important updates about RNIB services and plans and how people are supporting each other as they face new daily challenges.

RNIB Connect Radio, which broadcasts 24 hours a day and can found on Freeview 730 and online, is one of the easiest ways to access a range of information and entertaining shows for blind and partially sighted people.

Currently, exiled from their studio, the radio team has found some innovative new ways to record output, explains station manager Yvonne Milne.

"Our team are even recording interviews under the stairs, in their bedrooms and under duvets," she says. "The reason is that it changes the quality of the sound of the recording, so it doesn't sound thin or cold but warm and welcoming. We use sound-proofing in studios to get good sound quality, but all that changes when we are recording in our homes.

Yvonne adds: "We are also using apps like Skype and Zoom to connect with interviewees, including blind and partially sighted people talking about how the current situation is impacting on them and the difficulties they face. At a time when they might feel particularly isolated, Connect Radio is a reassuring voice that tells them they are not alone."

RNIB Connect Radio is about news but it is also about entertainment. Other appointments to listen include The Talking Books Show, which broadcasts two books each weekday (8am, 2pm and 10pm). There’s Tech Talk, a show about accessible technology, Yoga for people with Sight Loss (on air every weekday morning at 7am) and a whole range of music shows presented by blind and partially sighted people to keep your up your spirits.

The station has won a silver prize in the Sony Radio Academy Awards (the radio industry Oscars) and praise for producing "some of the most moving and well-produced human-interest content the judges had heard in a long time". In 2010, volunteer presenter Gary Moritz received a Finalist’s Certificate in the New York Festivals International Radio Programming and Promotion Awards, one of the most prestigious in the industry.

Yvonne explains: "Our factual content is slanted towards sight loss issues. But, now more than ever, anyone can enjoy listening to an audio-book or might like advice about accessible technology. And we play a wide range of music so there's bound to be something for almost everyone."

As well as via Freeview 730 and online, you can find Connect Radio through smart devices eg Say "Alexa listen to RNIB Connect Radio".