Pratt-Smoot Reading 2013

Every year around the beginning of March, the Mississippi Library Commission along with the Friends of Handicapped Readers conduct an annual celebration of the Pratt-Smott Act of 1931.  The legislation, enacted by U.S. Congress, put into action several initiatives to make braille & audio books available to blind and handicapped individuals.  Over the past 82 years, the law has served many visually impaired readers, many within our own community, and thus, the MLC honors the bill by inviting a different audio-book narrator each year to come and speak to their organization, supporters (including representatives of MIB & the MIB Foundation), and members from the community.
For the 2013 Pratt-Smoot celebration, MLC & FOHR hosted American Printing House’s nationally acclaimed narrator Ray Foushee.  Foushee has recorded over 700 books in his 30+ years of recording, and says he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.  He spoke about his audio recordings a a hobby and not a job–”I spend my time recording my readings whereas other people might be playing golf.  I love what I do,” Foushee told audience members yesterday, March 5th, at the MLC.  After explaining how he got into the business and different obstacles he had to overcome in learning to narrate, he answered individuals’ questions and stayed around to meet-and-greet attendees.  Although it was enlightening to hear Foushee speak about his narration process, it was even moreso illuminating to hear the visually impaired readers in the room talk about how his service has been helpful so helpful to them and others.  For this reason Mississippi Industries for the Blind & the MIB Foundation for the Blind & Visually Impaired were very excited to be a part of this event!

MIB Deputy Director Roy Granger and MIB HR Department Connie Souto Learman are excited about the Mississippi Library Commission’s Pratt-Smoot 2013 Presentation!

Ray Foushee speaks to his audience at the Pratt-Smoot 82nd celebration.  Here is a small bio about him:
MIB Foundation VISTA Volunteer Kelsey Marx poses with Ray Foushee after his presentation.

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