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In the day and age when news and information is brought to the public in an instant through television, radio and the internet, Diane Weaver Dunne realized that there was a segment of the population who was underserved. Those who are visually or otherwise impaired were not getting the same services from the mainstream media outlets. This led Dunne to leave her post as the managing editor of the Hartford (CT) Business Journal and accept a position as executive director of CRIS Radio, a Windsor-based nonprofit organization that provides news and information to people with visual, learning, mental health or physical disabilities.
The programming has been geared more toward the adult listeners, but now Weaver Dunne is adding children’s programming, which will be available on-line and On Demand. July 1. The Kid’s On-Demand programs will focus on science, technology, environment/nature and math for pre-schoolers through high school students.
A plan to add Spanish language programming to support the Connecticut Hispanic population plagued by blindness caused by diabetes is also in the works. Spanish speaking volunteers are needed and you can pick up an application at the CRIS website.
Meanwhile, CRIS has also formed a Speakers’ Bureau to present CRIS to civic groups and schools. “The more people who know about the services, the more people CRIS can support,” says Weaver Dunne. Volunteers who are interested in becoming speakers will also learn how to run the board as a substitute reader. Windsor Patch
About CRIS Radio
The Connecticut Radio Information System (CRIS), is Connecticut’s only radio reading service. We are registered with the state of Connecticut as a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
The programs broadcast on CRIS Radio are available to individuals who, because of vision loss, learning disability or physical handicap, are unable to read printed material. CRIS Radio programming features a wide variety of articles from national and Connecticut newspapers, magazines, as well as book readings and interview programs.
CRIS Radio’s live programming is provided free of charge and is available on specially tuned radios (provided free), cable providers, your telephone and online. In addition, CRIS can be accessed on an iPhone, iPad/tablet, Internet radio or downloaded onto an iPod/MP3 player.
Missed your favorite program? No problem. Subscribe for a modest monthly or annual fee to CRIS Listen On-Demand or CRISKids™, the only extensive online and on-demand service in the nation and Canada to provide audio versions of award-winning children’s magazines.
CRIS broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from regional satellite studios in Danbury, Norwich, Trumbull, West Haven, and our broadcast center in Windsor. Website: CRISRadio.Org
Diane Weaver Dunne is an award-winning journalist who currently heads up the Connecticut Radio Information System, also known as CRIS Radio, the only radio-reading service in Connecticut and the only service to offer an extensive line-up of audio versions of children’s magazines in the nation and Canada.
Diane served as interim and managing editor for the Hartford Business Journal and also as the news editor for Education World, an online education magazine. In addition, she has written for a number of newspapers including the Hartford Courant and the Connecticut Law Tribune.
She also was an adjunct professor at the University of Hartford for seven years, teaching communication.
Diane earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in communication from the University of Hartford.
In 2010, she was named executive director of CRIS Radio), which broadcasts news and information featured in nearly 70 newspapers and magazines for people who are blind or print-handicapped for any reason that limits their ability to read the printed word.