About Sun Sounds
Sun Sounds bridges the information gap between current print media and people who cannot use it because of a disability.
Mission: Sun Sounds of Arizona provides audio access to information to people in the Southwest who cannot read print because they have a disability.
Vision: Sun Sounds of Arizona will make creative use of technology and talent to ensure that every disabled
person has the opportunity to access the current and local information necessary to a self-directed, productive life. As a result, the inability to
read print will no longer be considered a disabling condition. Sun Sounds of Arizona will continue to be a leader in the field of information access
services and a willing partner to organizations with like goals. Sun Sounds of Arizona is innovative, committed to quality and to customer satisfaction.
The audience of Sun Sounds of Arizona is as diverse as the population in general. This is because people lose the ability to read print material
for a vast number of reasons. Many lose their access to print late in life as a result of macular degeneration, diabetes, or other age related eye
diseases. Others lose the ability to use print because of a stroke, accident, or age-related infirmity. After a lifetime of reading newspapers,
popular magazines, books and other current print, the sudden and dramatic loss of reading ability can bring a sense of great loss and isolation.
Sun Sounds provides access to print†on the radio, Internet and telephone. The radio service is an audio presentation which can be carried
on an FM station in a hidden portion of the signal called a subcarrier or as an audio only service on cable. By providing the programming of a
reading service it is possible for eligible listeners to hear daily newspapers, grocery ads, death notices, and other printed news used in
From the travel column in the newspaper to the local electoral results current print makes a difference in the lives
of Arizonans. When volunteers from Sun Soundsí studios read from daily papers, magazines grocery ads, and best seller books access to current
print is restored and the sense of isolation is diminished making independent living much easier.
Anyone who cannot read print because
of a medical disability can sign-up for service. There is no fee to users. A program schedule is provided to help listeners tune in at the
right time for the daily newspaper such as the Wall Street Journal, Arizona Regional papers, or USA Today. Other print information read aloud is
from local grocery or department stores and even best-seller books are provided in serialized form.
Another interesting fact about Sun Sounds
is that the on-air voices are all those of volunteers. There are hundreds of volunteers who provide this help throughout Arizona, including those
in Sun Sounds' offices in Flagstaff and Tucson.
Sun Sounds of Arizona launched the first of its kind telephone based reading service,
Sun Dial.† Sun Dial combines the intimacy of a volunteer reading live on the radio with the functionality of a web browser. Following voice prompts
over the telephone and having no more sophisticated equipment beyond a touch-tone phone, a Sun Dial subscriber can hear Sun Sounds live, hear today's
newspaper from prerecorded articles, and surf the internet from pre-selected web pages in the Sun Dial menu.
Sun Dial was the first of its type
to combine these functions, and remains an innovator by using both human readers and synthesized speech to create an information access point for any
registered user. Like the broadcast based service, anyone who cannot use print because of a disability is eligible to use Sun Dial at no charge.