Sunday, July 29, 2007

DJ Job Shadow Program for a Visually-Impaired Teen

A couple of months ago, I met a new friend named Holly, who works with visually-impaired children and teens. She took on a summer job called Project Freedom, a two-week in-residence program at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind designed to teach independence and job skills to visually-impaired teens. Holly mentioned that one of their students, who I will call Big D (his chosen DJ name) wanted to be a DJ.

I offered to design a DJ job shadow program at KXCI. Big D and I spent one morning taking a tour of the KXCI studios, talking about how radio works, making playlists, and the importance of following FCC rules. To give Big D a taste of commercial radio, I arranged for a tour with Jennie G at 92.9 The Mountain, who by the way got her start as a KXCI DJ. At the Clear Channel cluster of radio stations, Big D met Jorge, an audio production engineer, who also got his start at KXCI. Jorge introduced Big D to another audio production engineer named Gaston, who is also visually-impaired. The second day of the program Big D and I made a demo CD where he introduced and played some songs. We also produced a station ID spot that got aired on KXCI. Big D sent me a thank you note in Braille which I will share with you.


"Dear Dan,
Thank you for letting me go to the radio station and I really enjoyed learning about being a DJ. You're a cool person and I respect you. I also want to say that you're good at telling me all the good things a DJ can do. I just wanted to say I had a good time with you. Tell Amanda I said hi and maybe someday I might work sooner or later. I told my mom about you and she said she got the e-mail [with contact information for Gaston, who will serve as a mentor]. Thanks buddy.
Yours truly, Big D"

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