Valley Voice is a radio reading service for the visually impaired.
The Valley Voice focuses on local news and information by presenting readings of publications from our region.
(may be preempted on cable access channels by occasional municipal or school meetings)
At 8, 11, 2 and 5: Portions of Harrisonburg Daily News-Record.
Trained volunteers read aloud portions of newspapers for broadcast.
Around 4,000 listeners each week rely on the service to hear time-sensitive print matter. Listeners are in Harrisonburg, Staunton, Bridgewater, Charlottesville, and portions of the surrounding countryside.
Most listeners hear Valley Voice through Cable TV as the audio background of certain PEG (public / educational / governmental) channels. Valley Voice audio is present for all or part of the day on: Harrisonburg CitySpan, Staunton CitySpan, Charlottesville Public Access TV, and also some in-house stations at retirement homes and adult care facilities. Valley Voice is not responsible for visible text (police most-wanted lists, pet adoption notices, public school lunch menus, etc) which might appear on-screen on such channels; Valley Voice only does audio. The service is not available on Satellite TV.
Listeners may also access this service through our online stream - https://media.wmra.org:8001/voice
Medically-qualified people without access to Cable TV or internet services may be able to hear the service through specialized single-channel subcarrier radio receivers (known in the broadcast-world as as SCA's). Unfortunately, the airborne SCA signal is weak and is subject to interference from hilly terrain, buildings, and from some broadcast signals. SCA's are loaned out by Valley Voice and to request, call (540) 568-6221 and ask for the Valley Voice, or send an email to WMRA@JMU.EDU with Valley Voice SCA in the subject line.
When scheduling or weather-issues prevent volunteers from appearing, a recording of the show's most recent edition should play in place of the live reading.
JMU WMRA Radio Bldg
983 Reservoir St
Harrisonburg VA 22801
You can contact us by phone at (540) 568-6221 and ask for the Valley Voice, or send an email to WMRA@JMU.EDU with Valley Voice in the subject line.
Matt Bingay, Executive Director & General Manager
Valley Voice is a department of listener-supported public radio station WMRA, with a broadcast facility on the James Madison University grounds within the WMRA building. The FCC first authorized Valley Voice for broadcast on October 8, 1981, which is considered the Valley Voice's birthday (FCC File BMSCA-81094BA re WMRA). Founders are Jane Fuller and Ron Carrier. The service was only available via SCA units until 1999 when Cable TV distribution began.
Valley Voice and WMRA are both non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations through JMU. Valley Voice does not take charitable contributions directly; rather they are typically given to WMRA with "Valley Voice use" specified in the memo or comment field. Letters thanking Valley Voice donors typically bear WMRA letterhead.
Valley Voice reads time-sensitive print matter.
Other agencies provide other material.
Staunton Talking Book Center
Note, after a funding dispute with United Way, the Staunton talking book center no longer serves the Rockingham/Harrisonburg region; residents of that area would need to contact the Richmond talking book center. Staunton serves only residents of counties Augusta, Bath, Highland, and Rockbridge --and the cities of Buena Vista, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro.
Virginia's other reading services: