Chicagoland Radio Information Service (CRIS)

This is an image of an "On Air" sign.

Chicagoland Radio Information Service (CRIS) provides daily readings of newspapers and periodicals including news stories, sales circulars, and classified listings for listeners who have a wide range of disabilities. Through the use of volunteers, CRIS broadcasts verbatim readings of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Defender, and Daily Herald, and many more local newspapers and magazines. CRIS also broadcasts audio described movies and produces special interest programming dedicated to serving the interest of Chicago’s visually impaired and handicapped community.

By using a special SCA receiver and broadcasting on WBEZ-FM’s subcarrier frequency, listeners have access to the same printed information available to the sighted able bodied. More than 40,000 listeners tune in from receivers placed in private residences, schools, libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement centers, hospices, low vision clinics, and community centers.

CRIS also broadcasts on CAN-TV, Channels 19 and 21, to a potential one million cable subscribers in the Chicago area and to the whole world via live audio streaming online. Listeners can access the day’s programming via the CRIS Radio/Chicago Lighthouse Telephone Reader. The special interest programs are available for downloads and podcasts here.

CRIS Radio recently expanded broadcast operations into northeastern Indiana, broadcasting from WBEW-FM in Chesterton, Indiana.

CRIS provides training and employment for persons who are visually impaired and considering the field of broadcast communications. Every year CRIS hosts and trains blind and visually impaired high school and college level interns.

To inquire about volunteering at CRIS or for any other questions, please contact:

Bill Jurek
Director of CRIS Radio/Beacon Program
(312) 666-1331 ext. 3077
bill.jurek@chicagolighthouse.org