Swansea DJ and mum given internet radios

A blind DJ and his partially sighted mum have been given specially adapted radios.

Paul and Barbara Johnson, from Swansea, have each received a Sonata plus+ from British Wireless for the Blind Fund.

The sets were given out thanks to the grant we received from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

The radios have a text to speech engine, which means they can read web pages to the user as well as allowing them to access audio books, talking newspapers, podcasts and a wealth of internet radio stations.

Paul, 39, has been completely blind since birth and presents the Weekday Live show on Radio Tircoed. He says he felt like he’d won the lottery when he was given his set.

“I’ve always had an interest in radio and music,” he said. “I got into hospital radio first and then went onto community radio.

“The Sonata has been very good and has made a real difference – it means I don’t have to leave the computer on overnight and can listen to the radio in bed.”

Barbara says she was “lost for words” as it’s so wonderful to be able to listen to her son presenting his show, and joked that she’s always telling him he talks too quickly on the radio.

She said: “I never thought I would go back to listening to the radio – I used to just listen to the television but I’m really enjoying it.”

BWBF’s Regional Development Manager for the South West, David Loveridge, said: “We are so grateful to the Freemasons’ Grand Charity for the generous grant.

“Without support like this we wouldn’t be able to provide the vital service that we do.

“So many of the people we give our equipment to spend a lot of their time indoors, so our radios are a real lifeline to the outside world.

“It’s fantastic to see the difference these sets have made to Paul and his mum.

“Her delight at being able to listen to her son’s radio show was wonderful.”