Thursday, June 7, 2018

Month 18: Sun Sounds

Maybe one day on the blog Cristy and I will share the story about the time a group of friends decided to ride our bikes from my house to the Made in the Shade Beer Tasting Festival. It's only two miles. What could go wrong? Turns out, SO MUCH could go wrong. But, biking debacles aside, it doesn't change our love for this event (and you can ride the Mountain Line bus for free to the event, so leave the bikes at home). While it seems like it's just a fun day out in the sun tasting some amazing beers, many people probably don't know much about the non-profit behind this event, which we have chosen to highlight for MONTH 18. Gina Byars with Sun Sounds of Arizona is the driving force behind Made in the Shade (and now she's also in on another Cristy/Jacki favorite - Flagstaff Hullabaloo), and even though she just had one week between these two events, she took the time to share some great information Sun Sounds' important work:

{48Months}: What is the mission/purpose of Sun Sounds of Arizona? How long has it been around and how many people does it impact?

{Gina}:  Mission: Sun Sounds of Arizona provides audio access to information to people 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.

Sun Sounds of Arizona has 3 affiliates: Tempe, Tucson, and Flagstaff. It began in Tempe in October 1979. It opened another affiliate in Tucson in 1985. Then, the Flagstaff affiliate opened in 1995. 

Sun Sounds reaches about 49,000 people statewide. About 3% of the population have visual disabilities. In Arizona, that means over 150,000 people could use the services of Sun Sounds. When the number of people with other disabilities that keeps them from being able to access current print material, the number easily triples.

We are always working to reach more people! 

{48Months}: What services does Sun Sounds offer?

{Gina}:  Sun Sounds of Arizona reads current print media for people with print disabilities (not just visual). We air that via special FM signal and online.
{48Months}:  Tell us about the Made in the Shade Beer Festival. How many years has it been going on? Is it your main fundraiser? How integral is it to your operations?

{Gina}: This year is the 26th annual Made in the Shade Beer Festival! This is the major fundraiser for the Flagstaff affiliate and raises almost half of the budget for the Flagstaff affiliate.
{48Months}:  We always like to tell people how they can donate time, money, or goods to an organization. If someone cannot attend Made in the Shade, how else can they get involved?

{Gina}: People can volunteer as readers/broadcasters or as board operators (on the production side of the station). To listen to what that sounds like, our signal streams online at We have volunteer opportunities with our outreach team. (We speak to various service groups, organizations, service providers to share the services we provide.) We are always looking for volunteers to help plan and organize the Festival! It's a great way to learn about event organizing on a big scale!

A few other ideas...

* Go like their Facebook page!
* Volunteer at the Beer Festival (just saw this on Facebook via Gina... "Volunteers needed! We need more people to help serve beer samples this Saturday! Go to this link to register:
Please share! (Must be 21 or over)."
*Buy your Beer Festival tickets at this link!

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