The Milton Keynes Reader Service is a registered charity that provides confidential and impartial reading, writing, facilitation and transcription to adults with sight impairment and other disabilities within Milton Keynes.
An audio description/recording service is also offered to commercial organizations within Milton Keynes.
The key services provided are:
• A reading and writing service in a user’s own home;
• A Transcription service offered in many different formats;
• A Shop and See service to assist users with shopping;
• A facilitation service to enable users to participate in educational and cultural activities.
All these services are offered free to any sight impaired or disabled person within the borough of Milton Keynes who find reading or writing difficult and would benefit from regular assistance. Our volunteers assist on a one-to-one basis, are very friendly, professional and confidential, whilst remaining completely impartial . They have also been advised and trained by existing service users themselves, along with our fully trained and highly skilled service co-ordinator and continue to receive regular support and review.
MKRS currently has a large group of volunteers providing services to many local user members, with some of our members having the services of more than one volunteer. A different volunteer is often provided if a user requests both a reader and a “Shop and See” volunteer.
Milton Keynes Reader Service – Background
The Milton Keynes Reader Service was first set up in 1988 as a direct result of consultation with local disabled people who identified the need for such a scheme. Originally under the umbrella of the Milton Keynes Council of Disabled People, it has developed since then into an independent registered charity.
Equal access to information is a basic right, which is denied to many people with disabilities either because they cannot see or cannot physically manage printed material. Its original aim was to offer a reading and writing service to visually impaired people living in their own home.
The service continues to be guided by the needs of the people who use its services. As such it has a management committee which consists of both Service Users and Volunteers. The committee meets six times a year to coordinate fund-raising, events and review project progress.
Committee members are active throughout the year, contributing to the smooth running of the Service.
There is also a separate Development Committee which deals with new projects.
The MK Reader Service has one paid employee, who is the Service co-ordinator. Working part-time, the co-ordinator recruits new volunteers, organises training and matches them to service users appropriately. All other work for the Service is undertaken by volunteers.