The Washington Post ran a story about the volunteers at “Washington Ear” who read every day’s newspaper for the benefit of the blind. It takes about 24-25 hours to read every single word, including each panel of each comic, and every television listing.
“There’s a bit of skill to reading the paper out loud. “A lot of aspiring radio and TV personalities will come out,” Margaret says. “It’s wonderful practice for them.”
If they pass the audition, that is: a half-hour cold reading of news stories, poetry and a scene from a Thornton Wilder play. Then there’s the pronunciation test: mujaheddin, sobriquet, vichyssoise, bivouac, Taipei. . . .
Half of those who apply wash out.
“If the blind person can’t understand the person who’s reading, then we’re not providing a service,” says Nancy Knauss, administrative director.”