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Accessible Radio Broadcasting Lets Blind and Visually Impaired Create Internet Radio Stations

Author: Suzanne Robitaille

Published: 2012-10-09 : (Rev. 2013-06-05)

Synopsis and Key Points:

SAM Vibe is a cloud broadcasting application that lets broadcasters who are totally blind use a screenreader to upload and play music on their radio station.

Main Digest

DIY radio broadcasting is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to a crop of online tools (like Live365) that let radio lovers become DJs. Still, most radio broadcasting platforms are either too complex for the average user, or aren't designed to be accessible for blind and visually impaired people. Today, Spacial Audio introduced SAM Vibe, the latest launch in its family of best-selling products for hobbyist radio broadcasters. SAM VIBE is a cloud broadcasting application that lets broadcasters who are totally blind use a screenreader to upload and play music on their radio station. Low vision users can also participate, using the large fonts and color contrasts built into the package. It's a great platform for kids with or without vision, too, as the interface is super simple.

Spacial, an award-winning maker of radio automation software, launched SAM Vibe (, a powerful Internet radio broadcasting application that's fully accessible to users who are blind or visually impaired.

SAM Vibe lets broadcasters produce their own cloud Internet radio programs, whether it's news, sports, talk, or various genres of music. The software gives users the ability to upload and manage large music libraries, control scheduling and automate many aspects of program production.

Spacial created SAM Vibe to especially appeal to broadcasters who are blind or visually impaired.

The software is fully compatible with text-to-speech screen readers, and can be operated using a computer keyboard instead of mouse. Additionally, the color scheme is color-blind friendly and optimized for contrast, with large fonts to make reading text easier.

"Lots of people want to be DJs but most radio broadcasting software is too complex for the average user and not designed to be accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired," says Pascal Laflamme, Managing Director of Spacial. "SAM Vibe has an easy and fully accessible interface to allow broadcasters with or without vision to create their own commercial-quality radio stations right from their PCs."

"As a media professional who is blind, I have expertise with many types of radio broadcasting software and believe SAM Vibe is a great solution for those new to Internet broadcasting," says Erin Edgar, who co-founded the Tech Access Weekly podcast covering accessible technology for the blind and visually impaired with her husband, Rodney. Tech Access Weekly created an audio review of SAM Vibe's features for low-vision and screen reader users, which can be found on the Spacial website (

SAM Vibe also makes it easy for kids to explore the craft of radio programming, and it's in use at the broadcast studio operated by SLB Radio Productions, Inc. at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. "With SAM Vibe, we now have an easy and intuitive way to teach kids to create and control their own broadcasts, whether for fun or career discovery," says Larry Berger, founder and executive director of SLB Radio.

SLB Radio is also evaluating SAM Vibe to manage iQ Kids Radio, its new 24/7 service launching with WQED in Pittsburgh in 2013. "Eight years ago we chose SAM Broadcaster for our studios and it has exceeded our high expectations. We're confident that SAM Vibe will also play an important role as we develop new forms of youth-based programming," Berger adds.

About Spacial - Since 1999, Spacial has been developing quality audio software. In 2002, it launched SAM Broadcaster, its renowned radio automation software that allows broadcasters to stream their radio stations online. The company has also created DJ software called SAM Party DJ (now SAM DJ) and the Simple-Cast live audio event streaming encoder (now SAM Cast). Spacial is utterly focused on the technology of its products, making for sophisticated software that lets you broadcast at an advanced level.

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