The Illinois Radio Reader Service


Illinois Radio Reader

A free radio service for the blind and visually impaired community of east central Illinois.

an Illinois Radio Reader volunteer reading a book into a microphone 300 N. Goodwin Ave.  Urbana IL. 61801
Director Kathie Spegal (email)

The Illinois Radio Reader is a free service for the reading impaired community of east central Illinois.  The service depends on volunteer readers who produce 80+ hours of weekly programming.

Illinois Radio Reader on Alexa

Illinois Public Media I logoIllinois Radio Reader is now playing on Amazon's Alexa! To use the skill, open the settings menu on your Alexa app and find the Skills & Apps section. Search for Illinois Radio Reader and enable the skill. Or enable it here on Amazon. Then say “Alexa, play Illinois Radio Reader” to start the stream and “Alexa, stop” to stop.

On the Air Since 1978!

Over forty years of caring, sharing and over-the-airing with the reading impaired community.

What does IRR broadcast?

A free program guide is available by contacting IRR. The following is every weekday:

  • Decatur Herald and Review and Decatur Tribune
  • Bloomington-Normal Pantagraph
  • Champaign-Urbana News Gazette
  • Christian Science Monitor
  • Vermilion County news (Commercial News)
  • Watseka Times-Republic
  • Grocery and drugstore ads
  • The Ford County Chronicle, The County Chronicle, and Piatt County Journal-Republican on Fridays
  • Books, entertainment features, sports, senior citizen features, health programs, magazines and more
  • Talking Information Center during the nighttime and weekend hours

Click here for the complete Illinois Radio Reader schedule.

Who qualifies to receive this service?

Illinois Radio Reader broadcast receiverAnyone who has a visual or physical disability which impairs his or her ability to read is eligible to obtain this free service.

Download an application for a radio receiver, or call 217-333-6503 for more information.

Volunteering for Radio Reader

Every weekday, local programming is available for broadcast. The newspapers, magazines and books that are shared with the listeners are read by volunteers who either record at home and e-mail the material or who come to the Illinois Radio Office at 300 N Goodwin in Urbana to record in person. A short orientation and commitment to a half hour or an hour weekly is all it takes. On-call readers are also appreciated. If you have time to record, please call Kathie Spegal at 217-333-6503 or contact Illinois Radio Reader by e-mail.