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Audio Information Network of Colorado (AINC) is proudly celebrating 20 years of providing free audio access to newspapers, magazines and other print materials to blind, visually impaired and print disabled Coloradoans of all ages.
The Audio Information Network of Colorado was founded by David Dawson in 1990 under its original name of Radio Reading Service of the Rockies (RRSR). David recognized the need for such a service because he had used them for many years before moving to Colorado in the 1980s. Suddenly, he had no independent access to the local newspapers, grocery ads and other ink print materials. He decided to take action to create a radio reading service benefitting the blind, visually impaired and print disabled residents of Colorado.
In order to reach the entire state and overcome geographic barriers, David decided to team up with Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS) rather than a radio station. Rocky Mountain PBS has been our biggest supporter till this day, generously broadcasting our service over their airwaves and donating the time of their engineers to keep it running. Beginning in 1991, the first broadcast was eight hours of original programming that was read live or recorded on reel to reel tapes. Listeners could hear the Secondary Audio Program of RMPBS on their televisions or receive a pre-tuned receiver for simple access. From there, the broadcast expanded into three regional broadcasts which now provide programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Keeping pace with new technology has always been a priority, and we subsequently added telephone and web services that dramatically expanded our listening options. Many of our listeners appreciate the flexibility of downloading a podcast or dialing in to Information-On-Demand and choosing a program. In 2007 the organization’s name was changed to the Audio Information Network of Colorado (AINC) to better describe the range of services now available. Another change in technology occurred when television signals went digital, and David spearheaded a national effort to be sure reading services across the country were prepared for the conversion. In 2009, we replaced all our analog receivers with new digital receivers to continue services for our listeners. This was a huge project and we are grateful to all who supported us in this effort!
We are also indebted to our team of nearly 300 volunteers who read and record the various publications or provide assistance with administrative tasks. These individuals are truly the life blood of the organization. The majority of our volunteers come to our Boulder recording studios. However, a growing number of individuals record on their home computers using software provided by AINC. This new technology has allowed individuals to volunteer from anywhere in the state, increasing the scope of our volunteer base.
AINC will continue to take steps forward in technology, volunteer recruitment and fundraising to be able to meet the needs of our listeners in the coming years. Once again, we thank our listeners, our volunteers, our partner Rocky Mountain PBS, and all of our funders for their generous support over these many years.