Harris Heroes: Radio stations keeps visually impaired 'a part' o - KMOV.com

Harris Heroes: Radio stations keeps visually impaired 'a part' of community

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

Most often used for music, a former police officer uses the radio as a way to learn about what is going on around him. 

Jon Brough was a Belleville Police Officer for 21 years. Now retired, he spends his morning listening to the radio specifically made for those who are blind. 

In 2006, then-Officer Brough entered the house of a double-homicide suspect. It was then when Brough lost his ability to see. 

"Once entry (into the home) was made, the bad guy shot me in the face with a 12-gauge shotgun," Brough said. 

Brough lost both eyes in the shooting. 

One of the things Brough liked to do was read the newspaper, a joy that was no longer possible following the shooting. 

It was then when Brough's priest informed him about the radio. 

The radio, which is run by the non-profit Mind's Eye, picked up only one station, and the radios are given to those who are blind. Volunteers then read books, magazines, and newspapers over the airways. 

Judy Payne volunteers her time at the station, and does everything from gathering the reading material for the broadcasts to reading them aloud. 

"Monday mornings I come in early before anyone else," Payne said. "I cut apart the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and put it in folders for the live readers." 

Afterward, Payne said, she reads the Entertainment Weekly magazine on the station. 

"It's rewarding to me to think that I might have a connection with someone I'm reading with," Payne said. 

Brough said the radio station's work makes him feel apart of the daily happenings in his community. 

"I'm able to become a part of what's happening around me," Brough said. 

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