BOSTON – The Massachusetts State Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a $46 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). Included in the budget was an amendment offered by Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) that will provide $300,000 of funding to the Talking Information Center (TIC) to support their work providing human voiced broadcasts of local news, articles, and items of interest to visually impaired and otherwise disabled listeners.
“The Talking Information Center has provided critical service to the South Shore and the Commonwealth since 1978,” said Senator O’Connor. “They have a great group of volunteers that have come together since the beginning of the pandemic to ensure everyone is able to access the latest public health information. We’re lucky to have them as a community partner and I am very proud to have secured funding in the Senate budget to support their work.”
Upon learning the news, TIC Executive Director, Anna Dunbar said, “Senator O’Connor has been a true and constant supporter of our mission. This year, it would have been very easy for the Senator to tell us that state funding was not a possibility for our organization due to the pandemic but instead he has worked tirelessly to ensure that TIC receives funding so that we can continue to serve over 30,000 individuals who are blind or living with low vision. I am so grateful to have Senator O’Connor and his team in our corner.”
"The TIC’s program content serves everyone, especially those most in need: the blind and visually impaired, the newly disabled, veterans, the elderly, the poor and those living alone,” added TIC Vice President Peter Brown. “The funding underwrites 322 unique programs each week, read by over 200 volunteers. We are thankful to Senator O'Connor for his commitment to the Blind and Visually impaired.”
Started in 1978 by WATD, the Talking Information Center (TIC) is a radio reading service dedicated to the blind, visually impaired and otherwise print-impaired population of Massachusetts and beyond. Prior to the pandemic, approximately 200 volunteers entered their Marshfield studio to record programming from a wide variety of print-based sources. Their programming runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Operating remotely has not stopped the TIC from carrying out their vital mission. Due to TIC's incredibly selfless volunteers, they have had the ability to produce the most important content remotely to ensure their listeners can continue to live autonomous, independent lives. For more information about the TIC, visit www.ticnetwork.com.
The Senate’s FY21 budget will move to Conference Committee where three members of the House and three members of the Senate will work out the differences between the House and Senate budgets. As the Ranking Minority Member of Senate Ways and Means, Senator O’Connor will be one of the six legislators responsible for negotiating the legislature’s final version of the budget.
Senator Patrick O’Connor represents the Plymouth and Norfolk district, which includes the towns of Cohasset, Duxbury, Hingham, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell, Scituate, and Weymouth. Sen. O’Connor and his staff may be reached at the State House at 617-722-1646 or by email at Patrick.O’[email protected].