Pasco Receives Liberty Accessibility Advocate Award
Tempe, AZ, July 10, 2008
Bill Pasco, Director of Sun Sounds of Arizona, received the 2008 Americans with Disabilities (ADA) “Liberty Accessibility Advocate” award from the Arizona Disability Advocacy Coalition (AZDAC) on July 24th, at a celebration at the Arizona State Capitol in honor of the 18th anniversary of the ADA.
“The Liberty Accessibility Advocate award honors a community member who advocates for equal access for people with disabilities. We recognize Bill Pasco for his active involvement and broad work in promoting accessibility in our state,” says Amina Kruck, AZDAC Chair.
Governor Janet Napolitano delivered the keynote address, stating, “…the ADA is more than widening doorways or adding ramps. It’s about where those doorways and ramps lead. It’s meant to assure quality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. Doorways and ramps are important, but only insofar as they lead to other things.”
Pasco, Director of Sun Sounds of Arizona since 1996, is a proponent of using technology to provide wider access to information.
In 1998 Sun Sounds of Arizona was the first reading service to stream their broadcast on-line. That same year Sun Sounds launched Sun Dial, an innovative touch-tone telephone system that visually impaired customers can use to surf speech-enabled websites.
Under Pasco’s leadership Sun Sounds of Arizona has won programming awards from the International Association of Audio Information Services (IAAIS) in record numbers. IAAIS is a global membership association of reading and information access services.
Outside his role at Sun Sounds, Bill pursues accessible technology at the national level. He is helping to define national standards for accessible consumer radios, and was an early tester of some of the digital technologies which will be part of the new HD radio environment including DVR style recording and time shifting for radio audiences.
Locally, Bill dedicates time each election cycle to help the Arizona Clean Elections and the Arizona Secretary of State provide accessible voter information guides through Sun Dial. He is a past Chairman of the Arizona Governor's Council on Blindness and Visual Impairment, and is recognized in the community as an accessibility expert. Bill seeks opportunities to assist organizations in fulfilling ADA requirements, and mentors and coaches other professionals in making their workplaces accessible. His message: “Make it accessible by design – not as an afterthought.”
The Liberty Accessibility award highlights Bill’s longstanding vision that, by providing every disabled person access to current information, the inability to read print will no longer be considered a disabling condition.
Marketing Coordinator, Sun Sounds of Arizona
2323 W. 14th St., Tempe, AZ 85281-6950