The smooth and velvety voice of VMCH volunteer John Doherty has been enjoyed by thousands of people for 19 years. Each week from his Adelaide home, John records text from Catholic magazines, Sunday Mass readings and newsletters for vision impaired people supported by VMCH.
Now, the process will become much easier with the introduction of Envoy Connect, a simple audio book player which will replace the outdated ‘DAISY’ CD system.
The user-friendly player can hold up to 30 audio books, fits into the palm of your hand, and requires no batteries.
October 11 is World Sight Day, a global event to draw attention on blindness and vision impairment.
Supporting people with vision impairment is a topic close to VMCH’s heart. The organisation (Villa Maria) was founded as the Catholic Braille Writers’ Association in 1907 by Louisa Fawkner, a partially blind early colonist of Melbourne who worked tirelessly to have Catholic literature transcribed into Braille.
VMCH is currently working with Vision Australia to distribute the Envoy Connect system to the people we support sometime in the next few months.
John – who worked as a television newsreader in Adelaide – said he was privileged to see the recording program move with the times; first from cassettes, then CDs, and now an audio player.
“We’ve got to continue to explore easy methods of distribution and campaign to attract more people to use this service,” John (pictured above with VMCH Volunteering and Pastoral Care team members) said.
“It’s (volunteering) enjoyable and I learn a lot from the interesting material I record. Helping others goes without saying – its nice to provide a service people really enjoy and need.”
If you are supported by VMCH and would like to know more about Envoy Connect, please call Sr Lorraine Testa on 0419 377 495.