By Debbie Hazelton
During this past year in my role as ACB Radio’s managing director, I’ve thought a lot about who or what ACB Radio is, and what we’re doing.
So many of us grew up with radio in our lives as a close companion.
My radio was under my pillow many nights, keeping me company when I couldn’t sleep. Like you, I got to know the D.J. voices, waited to hear favorite songs. Radio was like a friend.
Years later when working for a publishing company, I wrote an article about how radio has often played such a center role in building community. Ever notice their events? They would just ask people to show up and meet them, and they would give stuff away. They weren’t asking us to buy, they just wanted our listener loyalty.
Over twenty years ago, a couple of guys, Paul Edwards and Jonathan Mosen were just having some fun with ideas and technology and voila! ACB Radio was born! What a wonderous thing to find, that broadcasting “from a blindness perspective” could indeed be possible!
It was an exciting beginning, one that carries many favorite memories. New streams were discovered, many of which are still with us today. For those who have loved old time radio, it’sour Treasure Trove stream! For those of us who grew up in the music scene, it was Interactive, now our Café stream.
As with many ventures over the years, ACB Radio has experienced its highs and lows. This is often how we learn and grow. One thing that’s become paramount, ACB Radio and its parent organization, ACB, now work closely together. ACB Radio is not just a station off to the side for just any broadcasting, it is a place for the broadcasting the pulse of ACB, and reflecting the heart of our ACB community!
When I first came to ACB Radio back in 2007, I knew that I wanted anyone to tune in on any of our streams and feel that ACB radio is in a sense, another friend. At any given moment, one can tune in and know that no one is ever alone!
If you’re listening to our Advocacy Update podcast on Mainstream, Main Menu Live, Book Ability with Meka, to mention just a few, there are resources, ideas, people with similar questions and experiences. If you tune in to our Community channel, you might also hear programs about learning a new language, tips for around the house, how to use your Victor Stream or your Instant Pot.
And currently, on our Café stream, you might hear a broadcaster doing a show, and have a chance for some friendly interaction, or some music performed or composed by another artist who happens to be blind or visually impaired.
And of course, There is still all of that old-time radio to be found on Treasure Trove.
We are still creating. In fact, we are continuing to rebrand ACB Radio. As a key player in our virtual national convention, and as we go forward with a number of affiliate conventions, I think it is safe to say that ACB Radio is here to carrying the pulse of ACB, and to reflect the heart of our ACB Community.
May you always know that you are never alone. And when you need to know that there are others out there searching for resources, creating win-win solutions, ready to gather for fun and good company, may you know that ACB Radio is here for you!