By tuning into the web radio station, the latest initiative of the Rising Voices grantee project Blind Dates, one can begin to hear the excitement in the voices behind the project. The station called Blind Dates Radio can be found on the My Radio Stream platform, and provides a unique opportunity for a new generation of radio producers [el], who are members of Thessaloniki's blind community.In addition to being able to connect with their audience through their selection of their favorite music, they receive instant feedback from listeners via a chat widget located on the website. Using their screen-readers, the radio producers are able to receive requests and acknowledge the many messages of congratulations. There are plans to add news programming in the form of recorded audio podcasts about issues facing the blind community in Northern Greece. For example, the community recently invited the President of the Pan-Hellenic Association for the Blind to discuss how Greece's latest austerity measures are affecting services to the blind community.
Word is slowly spreading, and during its early broadcasts the number of listeners reached 18. The radio is online seven days a week [el] with the majority of programs live, but also there are some recorded programs to help fill up the day.
Alexia Kalaitzi, the project's coordinator, writes about why the youth chose to participate in the creation of a web radio. One of the reasons was that being able to run an entire radio station on their own, provides a great confident boost to members of the blind community. Using available technology, the radio producers are able to use the interface with very little additional assistance. In fact, the radio station has become very popular within the community and many others are already signing up wanting to join in on the fun.