INSIGHT to use Champlin grant to buy 350 radio receivers for the blind


INSIGHT, a nonprofit agency dedicated to increasing the independence of Rhode Islanders who are blind and visually impaired, has received a $20,650 grant from the Champlin Foundations to fund the purchase of new INSIGHT Radio receivers for people who are blind and visually impaired.

Started in 1982, INSIGHT Radio is a closed-circuit radio reading service based out of the agency’s Warwick offices that broadcasts through a partnership with WBRU-FM. Each week, more than 40 volunteer readers come to the INSIGHT Radio studios to read local and national newspapers, magazines and books for the benefit of those who cannot access print materials due to a visual impairment. More than 500 active receivers are currently in use throughout the state.

According to INSIGHT Executive Director Christopher Butler, “while folks can access news and entertainment from a variety of sources such as television and commercial radio stations, INSIGHT Radio brings its listeners more in-depth stories as well as items that are not accessible audibly elsewhere, such as local obituary notices as well as news and commentary that is in small local newspapers.”

Butler said funding from Champlin would be used to purchase 350 receivers, which are tuned to only receive INSIGHT Radio’s signal. Butler said that the new receivers feature just one dial to control on/off and volume, which makes them very easy to use. Encased in a wooden cabinet, the receivers are also small enough to fit on a bookshelf and meld in with the listener’s décor.

INSIGHT Radio is broadcast seven days per week, 24 hours per day. There is a one-time subscription fee of $50 and listeners can keep the receiver for as long as they would like.

For more information about INSIGHT Radio, or INSIGHT’s many other programs for people living with visual impairments, contact the agency at 941-3322 or


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