Middleton Talking Newspaper to fold

Date published: 06 December 2018

The last edition of a local Talking Newspaper for the blind will be recorded and distributed just before Christmas.

Due to a lack of news articles in a Middleton newspaper, plus a reduced number of requests for Talking Newspaper tapes, the Middleton Talking Newspaper will produce its last edition on the Thursday 20 December.

Middleton Rotarian Peter Hayward, who volunteers with the service, said: “Due to the lack of news stories in the Middleton Guardian paper and the reduced number of requests for tapes – down from 58 when I started five years ago to 18 now – we will not be continuing.

“I still believe we should carry on, but a vote was taken whilst I was away, not to continue into the new year, so our last one will be Thursday before Christmas 2018.”

In January 1970, one of the first Talking Newspapers was born. Tape cassettes dropped through the letterboxes of twenty blind people in Cardiganshire. The idea caught on and, slowly but surely, Talking Newspapers began to spring up in other parts of the country.

By 1974, there were enough to warrant the formation of a national membership body, the Talking Newspaper Association of the United Kingdom (TNAUK).

With the advancement of technology over the years, some Talking Newspapers have switched to providing a USB with recorded news stories, whilst specialist accessible internet browsers have been developed for blind and visually impaired users.

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