My Adventure Into the Radio Broadcasting World as a Blind Person

My first exposure to radio broadcasting started when my family and I were on a disaster relief mission trip called 8 Days of Hope following Hurricane Katrina.  On our second trip down in December of 2006, my family was invited to visit the studios of American Family Radio, a sponsor and promoter of Eight Days of Hope.  It was no secret that I loved microphones.  I do not remember that day specifically because I was only 5 years old. I do know that the pictures taken during that time tell the story of my infatuation with microphones and listening to anything I recorded in my headset.

When we returned to AFR again in July of 2014, my video “Open the Eyes of My Heart” had gone viral, and this time we were invited to share our story on the “Today’s Issues” program.  I remember that day vividly.  I was given a complete radio station tour, that included studios, office space and time to record whatever I wanted on the microphone.  John Riley, one of the DJs was great!  I completely fell in love with radio.  I was fascinated to see how everything worked, from the control room, to production rooms and the studios themselves.

Microphones.

Sound.

Headphones.

Music.

Sound boards.

Who could ask for more!!

Back at home I was fortunate to be in the Girard at Large radio studio on a regular basis. Rich Girard allowed me even greater access to radio and I became a huge fan, memorizing each commercial and loving each time I got to “go LIVE” in his studio.  I was in there about once a month sharing my travel updates and the music I was producing, waking up to the show every morning.  I was fortunate to be a guest host with my mom while Rich as on vacation.  I had the radio bug!!

Fast forward to 2018, Jonathan Mosen of Mushroom FM entered my world.  He was a podcaster and broadcast personality who also happened to be blind, and he had a weekly show at the time called the Mosen Explosion. I wanted to know how he did things, as well as learn more about him as a person, as I only knew him from being a host of a podcast from a software company at that time as well, starting some time back. After listening to some of his shows and interacting with him and other blind folks on Twitter, I looked him up and started listening to his podcast The Blind Side. On one of his episodes, he had advertised a course in radio broadcasting software from a blindness perspective, with Brian Hartgen, another blind broadcaster and software developer, also producing it with him. A year later, I bought it and was very impressed by how simple, straightforward, and accessible the entire software suite was. At this point, I knew for certain that it was possible to manage a radio station, whether terrestrial or not, independently as a blind person just by using Windows and a screen reader or 2!

In 2020, I put my technological, audio, and some presentation skills to work by producing my first live show on The Revolution Show. I’ve known the manager for years and had always wanted a shift with it, however, when it was being broadcasted on a terrestrial Christian station some time back, it required traveling to the studio just to do the show. Also, the program being used to play out the music and add more songs to it would probably not have been very accessible with a screen reader. The playlist was also on a designated shared laptop, and I did not feel like doing it this way. Because of that, once the opportunity for remote DJ’s was available, I decided to try it. For this station, after a while, I gave up because the majority of the music, though of a Christian nature, was not what I liked for the genre/style, and time commitment was tricky to maintain. There were also still several technical difficulties involved regarding SAM Broadcaster Cloud, which was the program that had allowed DJ’s to connect to the system and stream. The rest of it was done on the Web. SAM Cloud wasn’t as accessible as I would have liked it to be, and with a combo of the above mentioned, I gave up in August of 2020.

This did not stop me from pursuing my dream, however. I still wanted to do something similar, something I knew I would really enjoy for quite a long time. So, my mom and I had discussed some ideas, and we thought about the current situation that we were in as a society. She had told me that there were people out there that needed hope, whatever it might be. For us, as Christians, we believed that the only hope we really had during this difficult time was Jesus Christ himself. From this, it evolved to where it is now, a station that encourages people in their life’s journey.

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