My grandmother used to read for the blind. She spent a few hours each month reading the newspapers out loud into a microphone so the blind could access the news.
I can honestly say that my one and only role model was my maternal grandmother. Graceful, eloquent, talented and funny, my grandmother was a light in my life until she and my grandfather died in 2002. I think about them everyday and try to be as much of her as I can.
Back to the reading. I met a mutual contact recently who has started working for the local branch of the RNIB and is looking for readers. Brilliant! As well as following my grandmother’s footsteps (ooh isn’t that a game?) I want to eventually do some paid voice-over work so I figure this is a good start.
Signed up and ready to go, I went along to my first session last week. Instead of newspapers, I was assigned to Cosmopolitan magazine, a hefty read at 8 hours! I read it over two days (about 4 hours each day) and although it was a bit tiring, I was getting the hang of my pace by the end of the first read. I am naturally a very fast speaker. Trying to bring my pace down was the biggest challenge, that and trying not to giggle at the articles. Some of them are hilarious! There was a thought about relevance that Rupert (the sound engineer) and I discussed briefly, through the headphones. For example, how relevant is it to have an entire article reviewing various make-up techniques and brands when, and I’m probably horribly assuming here, visually challenged people MAY not be as interested in make-up as other topics. Maybe.
I’m moving onto reading Marie Claire next month I believe. It’s a shorter publication so will only take an evening. It was only when visiting my parents-in-law’s house last weekend and they had friends round. Talking about me, one of them exclaimed, “Oh! She reads for the blind as well! She’s so GOOD.”
Do you know I never looked at it like that - I figured volunteering was something everyone got around to, you just had to find the right cause. Still,
'Be a good girl,' said Grandma.