The Detroit Radio Information Service (DRIS) is southeast Michigan’s Radio Reading/Audio Information Service for people with disabilities. It is a special audience service of WDET 101.9 FM and Wayne State University. DRIS embraces and enhances the robust community engagement mission to expand knowledge, educate, inform and culturally enlighten its listeners.
DRIS is the only service of its kind in the region providing free reading and audio information programming for one of the community’s most under-served population groups by providing equal access to information. Since 1978, it has filled an information void in the blind and print-impaired population by offering a simple, cost-effective method of accessing printed and visual news and information published in hundreds of daily, weekly and monthly periodicals.
DRIS broadcasts 8,760 hours of continuous audio information programming a year, helping to offset the impact of vision loss and the inability to hold or comprehend print. DRIS engages local volunteer readers and offers the verbatim readings of more than 100 local and national newspapers and magazines a week. Special interest materials include this week’s grocery and department store ads, senior citizen issues, hobbies, and literature. Rehabilitation programs focus on topics like adjustment, employment, education and legislation.
How Does It Work?
Like many radio reading services, DRIS broadcasts its programming over a private, closed-circuit radio signal (WDET-FM’s 67 kHz sub-channel). Specially built radio receivers are loaned free of charge to qualified applicants.
Request a Radio/Eligibility
Any person, who is unable to see, hold or comprehend conventional printed matter because of a disability, including a learning disability, may apply to use DRIS.
An applicant must be 1) registered with a Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped or 2) certified by a qualified healthcare provider such as doctor, social worker or rehabilitation counselor.
Qualifying conditions include blindness, vision impairment, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, severe arthritis, amputation, spinal cord injury, stroke and other physical conditions or dyslexia and other cognitive conditions.
Ways to Support DRIS
DRIS offers year-round volunteer opportunities including regular on-air reading, substitute reading, studio work, clerical work, community outreach, fundraising and research. For more information, please contact Carmen Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a self-supporting service at Wayne State, DRIS strives to remain fiscally viable by raising its operating funds through private donations, grants and special restricted projects. Your donation will help DRIS air 8,760 hours of programming a year and distribute radio receivers to new applicants. Thank you!
Give Online: Visit Wayne State’s secure online giving page, then select “DRIS” the from pull down menu.
Mail Check: Print, complete and mail the DRIS donor form, and send return to WDET 101.9 FM, 4600 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201.
Address: DRIS, c/o WDET 101.9 FM, 4600 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
Staffing Hours 7:00AM – 12:00pm Monday through Friday
General Questions: email@example.com