The Illinois Radio Reader Service

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

300 N. Goodwin Ave.  Urbana IL. 61801
217-333-6503
Interim Coordinator Kathie Spegal (email)

The Illinois Radio Reader is a free radio service for the blind and visually impaired community of east central Illinois. More than 560 listeners are kept up-to-date on world, national, state and local news via a special radio receiver. The service depends on more than 70 volunteer readers, who produce some 80 hours of local programming each week. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, call 217-333-6503.

What does IRR broadcast?

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

  • Wall Street Journal
  • Decatur Herald & Review
  • Bloomington-Normal Pantagraph
  • Champaign-Urbana News Gazette
  • Christian Science Monitor
  • Vermilion Co. editon of the News-Gazette
  • Local and area advertisements
  • The Paxton Record, Mahomet Citizen, Piatt County Journal Republican, and Rantoul Press are presented weekly.
  • Books, cooking programs, medical programs senior citizen features, entertainment programming.
  • Talking Information Center Network, with its coverage of popular magazines.

How does the service work?

Programming at the Illinois Radio Reader (IRR) is created by a host of volunteer readers who donate their time and talents to record and produce the varying programs on the IRR schedule. IRR programming can be had in a few different ways, and all of them are free to registered, qualified users. The first way is by obtaining special radio receivers from the IRR office by filling out the user application. This simple to use radio receives a subcarrier signal provided by IPM - WILL-FM and is specially tuned to received only the IRR subcarrier signal. Broadcasts can be heard by obtaining special radio receivers from the IRR office by filling out the user application. You can also find the online stream of the IRR signal on this page by clicking on the link "Listen to the Illinois Radio Reader Service", and finally by downloading the free app "iBlink Radio" to your iPhone or other smart phone. Once it is downloaded, you can find the Illinois Radio Reader stream located in the sub-category of Radio Reading Services.

Who qualifies to receive this free service?

Anyone who has a visual, or physical disability which impairs his or her ability to read may be eligible to obtain this free service. Contact the IRR at 217-333-6503 or email Kathie Spegal, or download an application for a radio receiver.