Radio Talking Book Service (RTBS) envisions a world where the inability to read print will no longer be considered a disabling condition. RTBS was founded in 1974 and has grown into an organization with two distinct services: Radio Talking Book Network, a closed-circuit radio reading and information service and Listening Link, a personalized educational material reading service. These projects allow Radio Talking Book Service to connect Nebraska's estimated 32,000 blind and visually impaired, the 600,000 seniors aged 65 or older and 131, 000 Nebraska students who have learning or reading difficulties to lead self-directed lives.
The Radio Talking Book Network, started under the auspices of the Omaha Public Schools in 1974. RTBS was one of the first such reading services to be offered in Nebraska and the sixth such radio reading service in the nation to go on the air (there are about 125 radio reading services in the world today). RTBS offices were first located across the hall from Omaha's Public Radio, KIOS-FM, in what was then Technical High School. RTBS later used donated space in the basement of Jackson School at 31st and Leavenworth and as of today we have been housed in the Alegent Three Building on the Immanuel Hospital campus since 1992.
Listening Link provides volunteers who read and digitally record textbooks, class materials and video descriptions for visually and learning impaired students at Creighton University and Wayne State College. Working in conjunction with area elementary and secondary schools and colleges helps blind and other print-impaired youth meet their instructional needs and educational goals.
Radio Talking Book Service is a member of the International Association of Audio Information Services and was the sixth audio information service for the blind and visually impaired. RTBS is Nebraska's only radio station to broadcast local daily newspapers, grocery flyers, and articles from 200 different publications 7 days a week, 24 hours-per-day and streamed on the web to an estimated 32,000 Nebraskans with print-disabilities throughout the state. Listening Link provides educational materials that are not already available commercially or through such sources as the Library of Congress or Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic This service is valuable in assisting print-impaired students achieve their educational goals.