Beth McKenzie is the Development Director for Audio Reader Network, a service affiliated with Kansas University. McKenzie asserts that Audio Reader is a service that changes lives by connecting people who can’t read regular print. The service targets the blind, visually impaired or print disabled throughout Kansas and Western Missouri. Volunteer readers provide access to newspapers, magazines and books by broadcasts, internet, telephone or smart speaker, free of charge. Special requests are honored including audio descriptions of live art productions. Most importantly, Audio Reader fosters independence and combats loneliness for its users.
Audio Reader is funded entirely by donations and fund raisers. The program has three full time employees and shares several part time employees with Kansas Public Radio. There are 250 volunteer readers and presently there is a waiting list for volunteering. Our own Dan Shenkein is a volunteer and thoroughly enjoys the experience. Beth McKenzie has been with the program since 2016. Her background is nonprofit management, grant writing and fund raising.