Bridlington Talking Newspaper: bringing news to those who live with print disabilities

12 December 2023

During Disability History Month 2023, we highlight the work of the Bridlington Talking Newspaper’s team which has been collating, reading and recording articles to share with people suffering from visual impairments and other print disabilities for decades now. They operate from Sewerby Methodist Church. 

Print disabilities include visual impairment, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disabilities that prevent someone from gaining information from printed material. To ensure that these people are given the same information and opportunity as anyone else, the Bridlington Talking Newspaper’s team provides them with the news each fortnight from their base at Sewerby Methodist Church, located in the Yorkshire North & East Methodist District. 

Affiliated with the Talking News Federation, the team has four editors who work in rotation and gather physical and online newspapers about what is happening in the area including stories and features from the Bridlington Free Press, Hull Daily Mail and Yorkshire Post. “They write the introductions and decide who's going to read what and in which order,” explains Madeline, one of the volunteers. 

The recording has two parts. “The first one is the more serious side of the news, and then the second part brings some levity with magazine-type articles. We try to put it in a way which will be interesting and punchy,” adds Madeline. 

The team share the news through memory sticks that are returned and reused for the next recording. “We also offer extra material: recordings from organizations such as the BBC and magazines, ensuring that we are not breaking copyright of course,” says Christopher, who has been a recording technician for the Bridlington Talking Newspaper for the past 20 years. Recordings are also available online. 

The team members have a shared goal of helping those in their community have equal access to local news. The Bridlington Talking Newspaper has published over 850 fortnight editions so far and plans to continue for the foreseeable future.