Nonprofit MindsEye Introduces Smartphone iOS App
The app will provide increased accessibility to radio programs for individuals with print impairments
St. Louis, MO, December 16th, 2021— Belleville-based nonprofit MindsEye proudly announces the official release of its smartphone iOS app. The app will further increase the accessibility of MindsEye Radio, the nonprofit’s 24/7 broadcast which provides current print information to area citizens who are blind, have low vision, or are print-impaired. The service is free for qualified individuals and includes programming that promotes independence, including hyper-local news and grocery store ads.
MindsEye Radio transmits via short-wave and has been available to listeners on a traditional SCA radio since its inception in 1973. In more recent years, access has been increased through streaming on the MindsEye website and an Amazon Alexa skill. The smartphone app further increases accessibility by providing programs on-demand, anytime, anywhere. Listeners can now hear the grocery store ads while standing in the aisle at Schnucks, or tune into the Wall Street journal while heading to work on public transport.
The free app is fully accessible to screenreaders with robust voiceover capabilities. For users with low vision, it also features high contrast and dark mode options. Much like any podcast app, listeners can set up an account and “favorite” programs and create a playlist. No account is necessary to listen. The app can be downloaded by searching “MindsEye Radio” in the Apple store or visiting https://apps.apple.com/us/app/mindseye-radio/id1567627250.
MindsEye Board Member and listener Chad Dillon describes the app as “game-changing.” According to Dillon, “in 2021 one of the greatest devices out there helping individuals who are blind and visually impaired is the smartphone. With the advent of the MindsEye app, I now have news, entertainment, and information I need to stay informed and go about my daily life right at my fingertips.”
“There has been constant discussion of a MindsEye app for years,” says President and CEO Jason Frazier. “It’s incredible to see it evolve from a discussion to reality. We’re grateful to Tom Janoski, Sam Saxon, and the Washington University Developer Student Council for their hard work. MindsEye staff, Board, and listeners have also played vital roles in helping MindsEye be one of the first radio reading services with an app.”
In addition to its Broadcast Information Program that produces MindsEye Radio, the nonprofit has been growing a strong Audio Description Program over the last 5 years. During the pandemic, description shifted to the virtual realm, including recorded descriptions of landmarks like the Soldiers’ Memorial Military Museum and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows Shrine Way of Lights in Belleville. Eventually, these and other descriptions of local sites will be available in the app, allowing St. Louisans with visual disabilities to experience them in real-time independently or alongside sighted friends and family.
MindsEye welcomes additional support for this endeavor. Current sponsors include the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, Ameren Illinois, and Lighthouse for the Blind – St. Louis. MindsEye is a proud United Way of Greater St. Louis Safety Net member agency.
MindsEye strives to build a more inclusive community by translating vision into audio for individuals who are blind or visually impaired through four primary programs. The Broadcast Information Program provides listeners access to long-form journalism and local news and materials like grocery store ads, which allow people to stay informed and maintain independence. The Audio Description Program enables every person who attends a theatre production or museum exhibit the chance to enjoy a rewarding experience. The Beepball Program raises awareness and support for athletes who are blind or visually impaired. The Arts and Culture Accessibility Cooperative provides a forum for local cultural institutions to learn about and discuss accessibility. For more information, visit MindsEyeRadio.org. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @mindseyeradio.
Laura FoughtyDevelopment and Communications Coordinatorlfoughty@mindseyeradio.org618-394-6221
MindsEye Media Contact