City Council honors successes of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic

June 18, 2010
Santa Paula City Council

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) is vital to those who are visually impaired or have learning disabilities, the City Council learned at a recent meeting where they honored the group.

Vice Mayor Fred Robinson presented a proclamation to RFB&D Area Manager Tim Schwartz, noting the organization has worked “side by side” with educators and the nation’s leading textbook publishers for over six decades to “meet the challenge of serving America’s students with print and learning disabilities.”

As an educational resource, RFB&D has one of the largest national audio-libraries, reaching over 235,000 youth and adults nationally with print disabilities to complete education and to grow professionally. Robinson said more than 1,600 people in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern Counties and the surrounding communities have been able to benefit by utilizing their programs and services that involve over 200 “local volunteers weekly to record books for students from kindergarten level through postgraduate.”

Through the coordination of joint efforts, led by the Ventura County Leadership Cohort XV in partnership with RFB&D and other civic, educational and business organizations, a month-long awareness program was promoted throughout that county that allowed more of our youth and adults “to pro-actively address their visual, learning or physical disability through the free services and programs offered by RFB&D, as well as enlist more local volunteers.” Not everyone, noted Robinson, knows what RFB&D is and whom it serves.

“There’s a number of definitions” for dyslexia, said Schwartz. “If you open a textbook and the lines of text are literally moving, or the spaces aren’t there or the spaces or the letters themselves jump around,” the reader has dyslexia.

RFB&D provides audio textbooks to provide people learning and the experience of reading, helping those “who are kept literally from an open book,” a number gauged nationally at about 235,000, including 1,600 students in the region, Schwartz said. These students “have often been told by their parents, their fellow classmates they’re stupid, they’re slow,” including several examples of those who received RFB&D services who are now attending top-flight universities.

“We’re extraordinarily honored with this proclamation,” said Schwartz, and “we would like to see our services” available to who need them.


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