About

donate-button  listen-now-btn  ondem

About CRIS Radio

Directions | History | Events |  Staff | Board |
CRIS in the News | Photos  | About

The Connecticut Radio Information System, Inc. (CRIS) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) radio-reading service that has been serving people who are blind or print-challenged for more than three decades. We operate with a small staff and a large number of dedicated volunteers who provide voice talent. All CRIS recordings feature human narration.

Our state-of-the art broadcast center is headquartered in Windsor, Conn., where we produce numerous audio recordings. CRIS also operates four regional studios, which are located in Danbury, Norwich, Trumbull, and West Haven.

CRIS records articles featured in more than 70 newspapers and magazines, including the most extensive line-up in the nation of award-winning children’s magazines featuring human narration, all available online and on demand.

In addition to broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, other services include streaming CRIS programs directly to hospitals and other health care facilities through their in-house systems, or through Internet radios installed at assisted living facilities or nursing homes.

CRIS also provides custom recordings for schools and museums to better serve people with print disabilities.

Mission and Goals

The mission of CRIS is to provide quality audio access of print information for people who are blind or print-challenged.

CRIS is dedicated to improving the lives of people who are blind or print-challenged by providing them with access to the same print information that their friends, family, classmates, and colleagues enjoy.

Our current goal is to become a national model for other radio-reading services.

3
‘As we at CRIS Radio celebrate our past 30 years, we also look to our future on how to best meet the needs of our next generation of CRIS listeners.’ – Bill Austin (right), CRIS Board Emeritus

About CRIS

CRIS Radio provides a variety of audio recording services for people who have visual, learning, emotional, intellectual or physical disabilities. Programs powered by CRIS Radio include: CRIS Radio; CRIS Listen Now (online streaming); CRIS Listen On Demand; CRISKids™ and CRISKids™ for Schools;  CRISAccess™ (for museums); and CRIS En Español (featuring Spanish-language newspapers and magazines). CRISKids and CRISKids for Schools offer teachers a low-cost tool to help improve student literacy and reading ability.

CRIS programs keep people informed about the world, the nation, Connecticut, and their local communities, and has proven to be a vital resource for individuals who are unable to access printed material.  In addition to accessing general news featured in newspapers and magazines, CRIS listeners also learn about products featured in supermarket and department store ads, upcoming events, local obituaries, and the latest in sports and business news.

CRIS Radio programs also include information about assistive technology and other products that help improve accessibility, as well as readings from best-selling books and short stories.

anderson

Several talk and interview programs also are produced at CRIS Radio. They include: “Focal Point,” featuring issues concerning the blind, handicapped and elderly community, and “Positive Futures,” featuring important information regarding employment for individuals with disabilities.

Radio programs originate from our broadcast center in Windsor, as well as from our regional satellite studios in Danbury, Norwich, Trumbull, and West Haven. Programs can be heard on pre-tuned radios (provided free), cable systems, the telephone, online and mobile devices.

CRIS employs a staff of four full-time and three part-time people. We rely on approximately 300 volunteers statewide to help with the production, programming and the day-to-day operations of CRIS. Volunteers script, read, and operate the control board for daily broadcasts. Our volunteers also help with office work, bookkeeping, marketing, radio distribution, serving on our Board of Directors, and representing CRIS as speakers at various civic organizations.

CRIS receives financial support from a variety of resources including the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and numerous other private foundations, businesses and corporations, Lions Clubs of Connecticut and other civic organizations, individual donations, the state Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind, and fundraising events including our annual CRIS Radio Classic Golf Classic and an annual Dining and Dancing in the Dark gala.  More than 80 percent of our income goes directly to program services.

As we at CRIS Radio celebrate our past 30 years, we also look to our future on how to best meet the needs of our next generation of CRIS listeners.’ – Bill Austin (right), CRIS Board Emeritus pictured with Connecticut Sen. Edith Prague

CRIS Programs

CRIS Radio produces a number of programs that serve children and adults who are blind or print-challenged. They include the following:

  • CRIS Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week featuring articles published in more than 50 newspapers and magazines, including store circulars, local obituaries, local, state and national news.
  • CRIS Listen Now streams at www.crisradio.org.
  • CRIS Listen On Demand provides instant access to archived CRIS programs.
  • CRISKids ™ features audio versions of award-winning children’s magazines.
  • CRISAccess™ offers audio tours/descriptions  of museum exhibits.
  • CRIS en Español provides audio recordings of Spanish-language newspapers and magazines.
  • CRISKids™ for Schools provides schools with unlimited access to all archived recordings, including the Common Core State Standards and the CRISKids™ Audio Library featuring audio recordings of classroom print materials.

Population Served

CRIS listeners are individuals who, because of a visual, physical, intellectual, emotional or learning disability, or due to their medical treatment or medical condition, are unable to read printed material or turn pages of a publication. This may be due to vision impairment resulting from diabetes, cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma or other disabilities, such as arthritis, dyslexia, Parkinson’s, ALS or Cerebral Palsy.

Our children’s programs, CRISKids and CRISKids for Schools, are geared to children who are blind or unable to access print materials due to learning, physical, emotional, physical or intellectual disabilities. Our children’s services offer teachers and parents a low-cost tool to provide access to the same print materials available to all students and help improve student literacy and reading comprehension.  Students identified with special needs or as nonreaders are eligible for CRISKids.

CRIS does not discriminate and provides access to its service without regard to sex, race, age, ethnic background, religion, degree of disability, or financial status.

Individuals eligible for CRIS services are required to complete a brief application for service. Online subscribers are required to read and agree to the CRIS user agreement. For students and minors,  a teacher or parent must state the need for CRIS service.

How Can CRIS Be Heard?

  • A pre-tuned CRIS radio
  • Internet radio
  • Cable television radio
  • Telephone Reader (toll-free from your telephone)
  • CRIS Radio’s Web site: Listen Live or On Demand
  • Any mobile devise, such as a smartphone or tablet
  • CRIS Android App
Operations

CRIS employs a staff of four full-time and three part-time people. We rely on approximately 300 volunteers statewide to help with the production, programming and the day-to-day operations of CRIS. Volunteers script, read, and operate the control board for daily broadcasts. Our volunteers also help with office work, bookkeeping, marketing, radio distribution, serving on our Board of Directors, and representing CRIS as speakers at various civic organizations.

Register for CRIS Radio’s Newsletter

CRIS Radio sends newsletters to volunteers, listeners and registered visitors. To receive CRIS Radio’s newsletter, contact us at [email protected] Registered newsletter recipients may subscribe or unsubscribe to an e-mail newsletter at any time.
To read CRIS Radio’s most recent newsletter, click the link below:

Serving all of Connecticut from five studios around the state.