Marshfield: Talking Information Center Receives Good News

Budget cuts have been threatening the very existence of the Marshfield-based Talking Information Center, a radio reading service for the blind and visually impaired in Massachusetts, but earlier this week, officials at TIC got some good news.

“We have come to an agreement, both a short term and a long term agreement, that will continue to provide funding for the radio reading service for this year. We are working on a long term solution that will provide a permanent source of funding for the service as we go forward,” said the former executive director of TIC, Ron Bersani. 

We asked Bersani why TIC needs a budget of $750,000 to $800,000 a year, since the radio reading service relies heavily on volunteers.

“Somebody has to take care of the equipment, somebody actually has to do the work, we have to pay the rent, the utilities and the audio streams that we broadcast,” said Bersani.

In the past, funding came from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, but, that is about to change.

“We are going to be funded by the commission for the blind for this current fiscal year but we are going to be working with the Baker Administration, this is something that they came up with, the idea of actually switching our source of funding to elder affairs because we do an awful lot of work with the elderly, in regards to their loss of sight with age,” said Bersani.

Bersani also said TIC got a lot of help from the local legislative delegation.

“Representative Jim Cantwell and Senator Bob Headlund who are the legislatures for Marshfield (helped out), but it went beyond that. Tom Calter from Kingston, Josh Cutler from Duxbury, Senator Vinny deMacedo from Plymouth, Garrett Bradley from Weymouth and Carolyn Dykema from Holliston, they really took the ball and ran with it and put together a letter that was circulated throughout the legislature, we had over 70 legislators sign on to this,” said Bersani.

The Talking Information Center, which was established in 1978, has more than 200 volunteers statewide and broadcasts seven days a week, 24 hours a day with newspapers, magazines, books and special consumer information for the blind and visually impaired.

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About David Skill

Dave Skill’s radio career began in the fall of 1964 when he arrived on the campus of Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA. Dave barely got his bags unpacked when he paid a visit to WCHC, the campus radio station. And, before he knew it, he was spending so much time as a disc jockey and news writer/reporter, it seemed like he was majoring in “radio” and minoring in academics at “The Cross”. As you might imagine, his grades reflected it! During his junior and senior years, he also worked weekends in news and as a disc jockey at WNEB, the CBS radio affiliate in Worcester at the time... Click here to read more about Dave