Radio Information Service (RIS)

The Radio Information Service of WIUM/WIUW is a regional radio reading service for persons who are blind, visually impaired, learning disabled, or physically disabled. Broadcasting from the campus of Western Illinois University, the RIS operates on subcarrier channels in conjunction with WIUM-FMMacomb; WIUW-FM Warsaw/Keokuk; and WQUB-FM Quincy; and WVKC-FM, Galesburg; and 106.3 FM Burlington. Listeners are supplied with pre-tuned radio receivers in order to pick up the closed-circuit broadcasts. The radio receivers are available at no charge and are on permanent loan until the listener is no longer in need of the service.

WIUM-FM, WIU’s campus radio station (which became a National Public Radio affiliate in 1982), supplied the sub-carrier frequency where RIS broadcasts still originate today.

Volunteers and staff members read national, regional and local newspapers, special interest magazines, and novels for hundreds of listeners in the tri-states. The newspapers, magazines and other printed materials that are read are not available in Braille, large print, or on audiocassettes. Additionally, the RIS broadcasts feature programs tailored exclusively for the listeners. Broadcasts reach all or parts of a 20-county area spanning west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. Primary attention is given to daily newspapers serving the communities reached by the RIS. The Radio Information Service broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with overnight hours provided by the Gatewave Radio Reading Service for the Blind.

The Radio Information Service is a member of Illinois Radio Information Services, (IRIS) – a statewide organization representing radio reading services located in and servicing communities around Belleville, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago, Dekalb/Rockford, Godfrey, Macomb, Mt. Carmel, Peoria, Rock Island, and Springfield – and the International Association of Audio Information Services (IAAIS), promoting audio information services worldwide.

The Audio Information Services is now offering the RIS program schedule on the World Wide Web for listeners who use personal computers. Located at www.tristatesaudio.org the WSS Website provides real-time audio streaming of RIS broadcasts. The WSS uses the latest technology to further foster equal access to printed materials not made available in Braille, large print, or on cassettes. There is no charge to access the WSS.

To apply for the service, telephone us at (309) 298-2403; or E-mail us at ais@wiu.edu; or fill out the online listener application.