This assembly line is open for just one afternoon a year.
Steve Bauer and 20 volunteers used Wednesday afternoon to assemble 600 Braille calendars, which have probably already been shipped to vision-impaired people across Kansas.
Bauer said the calendars, a bound collection of thin plastic pages — each month gets a page — are a perfect reference for those like him who are unable to see.
"I probably use it 10 times a day," he said. "It's always on my desk."
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Bauer, an operations officer and telecommunications manager for Intrust Bank, has been visually impaired since birth and is president of the Information Access Association.
The association operates the Air Capital Telephone Reader, which provides free reading of publications over the telephone for the blind or visually impaired.
The association has been making the calendars since 2001, when the Braille Association of Kansas stopped making them.
Bauer said the calendars are unique because of their size — each page is a little bigger than a 3-by-5-inch index card — and because they are plastic, so they can't be damaged by water.
A $300 grant from the Wichita Downtown Lions Club paid for the raw materials. The assembly line was set up in space donated by the Communications Technology Associates at 2007 S. Hydraulic.
Among the volunteers was Kathy Kolarik, who reads obituaries from The Wichita Eagle six mornings a week for the Air Capital Telephone Reader. Bauer said a computer text-to-speech program reads the rest of the news for the service.
Bauer said he hoped to have the calendars completed and in the mail by the end of the evening Wednesday. He said he probably couldn't take on the project without the help of volunteers.
"If one person tried to do it, it'd take weeks," he said.
Bauer said anyone interested in obtaining a free Braille calendar can call Information Access Association at 316-337-7701.