Listener numbers in decline

Angus Talking Newspaper Association discussed the decline in listener numbers at their recent annual general meeting.

The group expressed their gratitude to ASDA, who allowed the committee to use a room within its Forfar store on Wednesday, May 22.

The association produces audio versions of the local Angus newspapers which are distributed to blind and visually impaired people of the area.

Each month volunteers meet in each of the burghs and produce a CD containing excerpts from the local newspaper.

The meeting mainly focused on the fact that, although the national figures for visual impairment are rising, the number if listeners receiving the Angus CDs have been steadily declining in the past 10 years.

Ian Scott, chairman of the association, explained: “Traditionally Angus Council’s social work department has referred people diagnosed with visual impairment to the Talking Newspaper service, and it is these referrals that have significantly reduced in the past few years.

“This has been of concern for some time and in the past year has been drawn to the attention of Angus Council and Tayside NHS but there has been a surprising lack of response.”

The meeting agreed that efforts would be continued to open a dialogue on this matter.

It was also agreed that, now that a new logo has been finalised after a competition held among primary schools last year, every effort should be made to get a new information leaflet completed and distributed to public places such as residential homes, doctors surgeries, Access Offices and libraries.

Office bearers remained unchanged with Ian Scott staying on as chairman, Lorna Milne as treasurer, and Liz Mountford as secretary.

A council spokesperson said: “We have been in direct dialogue with Angus Talking Newspaper Association specifically about how we promote their services since March 2013 and a meeting with them is scheduled in June to speak with them about other methods of promotion.

“As discussed with the Association in March, in addition to our occupational therapy staff advising people with visual impairments about Angus Talking Newspaper Association, as a staff reference we also have written contact details about them in all our area offices.”