45 Years of Service

To celebrate its 45th anniversary, Audio-Reader conducted a Launch KU crowdfunding campaign in November 2016, raising $6,750. Audio-Reader is a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print-disabled individuals. They read daily newspapers, magazines and best-selling books on the air in Kansas and Missouri, and on the internet. Their services, provided free of charge, foster independence by giving access to printed and visual information.

Audio-Reader was affected by the recent state budget cuts, causing them to pursue other avenues of fundraising. They kicked off their crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising $4,500 for 45 years of service. In the span of 30 days, more than 40 donors made gifts to reach their goal. An anonymous donor agreed to match gifts up to $2,250, putting them over their goal.

“We were thrilled with the success of our Launch KU campaign!” said Beth McKenzie, development director for Audio-Reader. “In 2016, Audio-Reader received almost $125,000 in funding cuts, so the funds raised from our Launch KU campaign have significant impact toward our general operating costs. This platform allowed us to reach new donors, increase awareness with our existing donors, and gave people who were not in a position to donate a way to help us by sharing information through our online avenues.”


Additional acclaim for Audio-Reader

The organization’s new Sensory Pavilion, designed and built by third-year architecture students in KU’s Dirt Works Studio, was named one of the year’s best student projects by Architecture Daily. The pavilion is located in the Audio-Reader Sensory Garden and was made possible by gifts from alumni Randolph Austin and Colinda Austin Stailey, in memory of their uncle, Dr. Johnny P. Austin.