Help Needed: Record Books for the Blind and Dyslexic
SLAC has an enormously diverse and talented population. Wouldn’t you
like to use your skill in educating other individuals?
Recording for the
Blind and Dyslexic is a largely volunteer organization that provides
recorded versions of everything from texts for first graders to those
for medical, law, business and other graduate and professional students.
This organization needs volunteers to record books and help with
The Northern California unit of
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D®) is housed in a charming
old adobe building in Palo Alto. There are five recording studios at
this site, and the need for volunteers is huge. The studios are used at
only 60 percent capacity and an enormous number of books wait to be
Many other volunteer jobs exist, including the fascinating job of
preparing textbooks for recording. For a technical text this includes
making decisions about where to include descriptions of figures, or how
to describe an equation or a complex molecular formula.
A special player, or
custom computer software, allows books to be highlighted electronically,
and pages and chapters to be found by search technology that makes
studying easier. For dyslexics and the visually impaired, this
technology speeds up the slow process of trying to read.
Volunteers work two-hour shifts each week. To record well, one must know
the vocabulary and the subject matter; hence, the need for people with
real subject matter expertise. This is a great opportunity for SLAC
staff to use their wide variety of knowledge to help others.
Titles are as diverse
as ‘Explaining the Universe’ to ‘Textbook of Family Practice,’ to ‘The
Norsemen in the Viking Age’ and ‘Engineering Mechanics’ were recorded in
The Northern California unit serves nine counties including San Mateo,
Santa Clara and Contra Costa, where many SLAC employees live and where
over 40,000 eligible students could benefit. As it is, fewer than 4,500
The Northern California unit of RFB&D is open evenings and Saturdays to
accommodate working volunteers.
For more information, contact Carol Crites, the volunteer coordinator at
650-493-3717, Ext. 13.