Radio Print Handicapped Network
RPH Australia is the national peak representative organisation for a unique Australian network of radio reading service designed to meet the daily information needs of people who, for any reason, are unable to access normal printed material. It is conservatively estimated that 18.4% of the Australian population has a print disability (over 3.8 million).
Historically RPH stood for "Radio for the Print Handicapped" and they began in Australia in 1975 on Melbourne's 3ZZ.
On 23 July 1978 the Minister for Post and Telecommunications announced: "The establishment of a special radio communications service for the blind and other people with reading difficulties."
The federal government began its direct funding of the service with a $250,000 grant in the 1981/82 budget.
Initially using marine band (today's extended AM broadcast band) frequencies, stations in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney began operating. 7RPH Hobart went to air in June 1982. 3RPH Melbourne was officially opened in December the same year.
By 1984/85 RPH services were also operating in Brisbane and Canberra. After another review, the specialised stations of the service transferred to normal broadcast band frequencies in 1990 and 1991.
Material from the network is heard on a small number of non-network community stations in Australia and on the Radio Reading Service of New Zealand.
In December 2013, all RPH Australia network stations joined the new VAST satellite platform.
RPH Australian Network Stations
- Brisbane: 1296 kHz AM
Vision Australia Radio (3RPH)
- Albury: 2APH 101.7 MHz FM
- Bendigo: 3BPH 88.7 MHz FM
- Geelong: 3GPH 99.5 kHz FM
- Melbourne: 3RPH 1179 kHz AM
- Mildura: 3MPH 107.5 MHz FM
- Shepparton: 3SPH 100.1 MHz FM
- Warragul: 3RPH/T 93.5 MHz FM
- Warrnambool: 3RPH/T 94.5 MHz FM
- Australia & New Zealand: Optus Aurora, radio channel 12 (Melbourne feed)
- Adelaide: 1197 kHz AM
- Perth: 990 kHz AM
Print Radio Tasmania (7RPH)
In February 2016, funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was called into question after July 2016, with 1RPH being the first station to have funding from previous Disability services sources withdrawn.