One of the things many sighted individuals take for granted is the ability to read their mail privately and independently. When a person is blind or visually impaired, this task is difficult to do independently, and, as they must have the mail read to them, they lose the feeling of privacy. A person's mail contains a large amount of confidential information, and most people would not want just anyone to read their mail. Thus, one of the most popular programs provided by the Utah Council of the Blind is the subsidized Reader Program, which provides a small reimbursement for people to read mail and help with personal correspondence. This program is especially appreciated by the elderly who are newly losing their sight and have no one to assist them with reading mail, paying bills and handling correspondence.
The Reader Program is open to those who pay an annual membership fee or are lifetime members of the Utah Council of the Blind throughout the State of Utah. The participant is asked to pay a portion of the cost of the reading time. For privacy reasons we ask that the member select his or her own personal reader. If a person needs assistance identifying people who are willing to assist in this capacity, the volunteer program may be able to help.
This program is dependent upon the efforts of the members of the organization to fund raise, since there are no grant funds specifically designated for it. This means that its continuation is dependent on a tenuous source of funding and, therefore, its future existence is uncertain.
How It Works
This subsidized program allows a member to pay a person not living with them, $5 per hour for up to 10 hours per month to read their mail or other important documents.
The member pays the organization $2 per hour they wish to purchase, up to 10 hours or $20 per month. We will send them a coupon for each hour purchased. The member then gives the coupons to the reader, who sends them back to us along with a voucher to receive a check for $5 per hour read during the month.
How to Purchase Coupons
Once a participant has identified a reader, they can purchase their monthly coupons in one of the following ways:
- Send a check for the cost of the number of coupons you wish to purchase to: Utah Council of the Blind, PO Box 1415, Bountiful, UT 84011-1415. Be sure to include the name and address of the person to whom they are to be mailed.
- To pay by credit card:
- a. you may order the full monthly allowance by Click Here to send e-mail
- b. You may call:801 245-9264 to pay by credit card.
- c. Or, if you wish to purchase a different amount, request a different payment link to be sent to you by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. When requesting a new payment link, please indicate the type of coupon and amount you wish to purchase, as well as the name and address of the person to whom they are to be mailed. Please DO NOT send your credit card numbers through e-mail. You will receive a return e-mail containing a link that will direct you to a secure location to make your payment.
Reader Program Stipend Request Form
If you are a qualified volunteer and performing Reader Program Services and want to download the Reader Stipend Form:
Would you like to Volunteer?
If you want to be a volunteer, please contact us at: (801) 299-0670
You can also download and print the Volunteer form but you must contact us before you can volunteer. All volunteers must be screened and approved before they can participate.