6 informonline.org.au Feature It can be said that if you have never worked an honest day in your life, it brings on a horrid feeling of discontent and rejection if you’re applying for jobs in a heavily neurotypical workplace. Unfortunately, problems with getting disabled people into casual or permanent jobs won’t address some of the issues employers are not interested in resolving, including digital convergence, diversity recruitment and awareness training. In the radio broadcasting industry, particularly in community and commercial networks, people with disabilities still have no influential, managerial or strategic voice. This misaligns the balance of representation and inclusiveness in having a range of presenters, producers and directors/managers with good skills and knowledge in both presenting and using technical equipment. When I started writing and sending off my resume in my early 20s, I was quite unadventurous in what I wanted to do. From my earliest memories of being educated at special schools as a young child, thinking about my career goals was never in my inner subconscious. Even when I was 19 years old, I didn’t believe that I had enough talent to host and produce a radio show without supervision. In 2005, I spent six weeks at 5RPH 1197 AM (now known as Vision Australia Radio Adelaide), where I received some mentoring and guidance on working in a radio studio and transferring calls for on-air and pre-recorded interviews. After that, I tried to apply as a volunteer with several community radio stations spread across metropolitan Adelaide, but not one took me on.
Feature informonline.org.au 7 “I had to persist in fighting to be heard by an industry that still has a very low percentage of employees with a disability or impairment”