News Brief - August 2020

From our Executive Director, Barbara Loh:

Thirty years ago at the end of last month, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. It is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on a person's disability. It was landmark legislation and a milestone in guaranteeing these rights to individuals with disabilities. Today, we must ensure that progress continues for those with challenges like our listeners have--the inability to read independently for a variety of medical and physical reasons.

Valley Eye Radio has been providing our non-profit, accessible local news and information broadcasting services for over 40 years. That longevity is remarkable, however we can not minimize the challenges we have ahead of us during this pandemic crisis. We still have to await a final state budget to receive state funding for this fiscal year.

But in the meantime, we have great news--we received very generous support from the COVID-19 Response Fund of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and a COVID-19 Mini Grant from Health New England!!! We thank them so much for their generosity during such uncertain times.

And, of course, we would not be where we are today without the ongoing commitment of area Lions Clubs to making sure we stay on the air for our listeners. They have been such strong supporters for so many years and we can't thank them enough.

We also want to thank again, as always, NEPM (WGBY/NEPR) which has supported VER through good times and bad and shares our mission of inclusivity and responsibility to our communities to serve the public by providing local news and information to all. For VER that means having accessible technology and specialized content and programming to provide what the landmark ADA legislation called for years ago--equal access.

And if you haven't yet checked out our new website, www.valleyeyeradio.org, please take a moment to see Valley Eye Radio in action. Once again we thank Beveridge Family Foundation for helping to make it happen.

  • Thanks to our collaboration with the Longmeadow Adult Center, Valley Eye Radio is presenting even more virtual local event programs that explore many great subjects including national history.

  • Later this month, we expect to have more such programs that are sponsored by FOLOCA (Friends of Longmeadow Older Citizens Association) from such subjects as Brent Renalli’s portrayal of Henry David Thoreau and many more!
  • Our Friends at Life Path have been busy with virtual forums addressing issues for seniors and those with disabilities. In July, Valley Eye Radio broadcast the audio recording from their virtual forum hosted by AOTV entitled “Elders and People with Disabilities Safe and Thriving at Home” to highlight the needs of this group and to increase awareness of the current services available, including new supports specifically created for the effects of the COVID crisis.
  • Coming up in August, Valley Eye Radio will present the audio recording from their second virtual forum entitled “Healthcare Beyond Covid-19” which includes representatives from the Heywood Medical Group and more. Timely information that helps our listeners make good decisions on their healthcare choices.
  • Valley Eye Radio covers Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire counties and is proud to be one of 6 affiliates of MAIN (Massachusetts Audio Information Network). Together, we cover Massachusetts with readings to make information accessible for those with a visual or print disability. We help connect them to their communities!

  • The Lions Club motto is “We Serve” and our friends at the Ludlow Lions Club are doing just that with a food drive on Saturday, August 29th from 9 am – 1 pm.
    Non-perishable foods, toiletries and back to school items can be dropped off (with proper social distancing) at the Ludlow P.A.C.C. or Ludlow Burger King.

  • Happy Birthday to all of those in our volunteer reader family who were born in the month of August: Ray and Mary Jane both begin another trip around the sun on the 6th, Charles gets the attention on the 7th, Sue opens her cards and presents on the 9th, Rich gets (virtual) visits from family and friends on the 12th, Ed enjoys his cake and presents on the 15th, Liza and Angelika both get spoiled on the 16th, Robert B. has his day on the 19th, Kevin and Veronica both feel the love on the 22nd and Mariana’s big day is on the 23rd.

    Happy Birthday wishes to all!

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