Photo Credit: Tim Ferguson & Kurt Fearnley’s website
As diversity in media is highlighted more regularly, there are more and more opportunities to support authentic representation of people with disability. We’ve taken a look at some of the best podcasts, shows and reads out there right now.
Here at Mable, we support authentic representation of disability in media. Now, more than ever, there are so many opportunities to hear stories from a wide diversity of voices. We’ve previously written about the award-winning program Employable Me, which charts the journey to employment for a group of Australians with neuro-diverse conditions. Here are five more podcasts, books and shows you may not have heard about….
Kurt Furnley’s Tiny Island
Paraolympian turned podcaster, Kurt Furnley’s series, Tiny Island, available here on Apple Podcasts, is an interview series that gives listeners a chance to hear from amazing Aussies about what it means to be an Australian.
When it comes to being an amazing Aussie, you could say that Furnley knows what it takes. The first athlete with a disability to win The Don Award in 2018, Furnley’s career has seen him win three Paralympic gold medals, seven world titles and an astonishing 35 marathon triumphs across 10 countries. His influence has traversed his field, with the NSW Australian of the Year honours in 2018 and the AFR including him on their cultural power list the same year. His podcast series interviews people you may or may not have heard about, to discover their passions and what makes them tick.
If you’re interested in his story, you can also pick up a copy of his book, Pushing the Limits: Life, Marathons & Kokoda.
Tim Ferguson’s ‘A Fast Life on Wheels’
Most people would recognise comedian, writer and director Tim Ferguson from his Doug Anthony Allstars days. He’s a prolific performer, and his most recent stage show, ‘A Fast Life on Wheels’ is tells the story of his life, specifically the highs and lows of discovering he has MS. The tone of the show, which plays at Perth’s State Theatre this weekend, is set from the outset; “I don’t suffer MS, it suffers me.”
The show has garnered critical acclaim with its irreverent look at his life in a sometimes touching, but mostly hilarious set of reflections. The show tours other parts of Australia later in the year. Check out his Facebook page for dates.
Squirmy and Grubs
US couple Shane Burcaw and Hannah Aylward are hosts of YouTube channel, Squirmy and Grubs, which now boasts almost 400,000 followers. First time visitors to the channel are greeted with this introduction; “Once upon a time, a boy with no muscles fell in love with a beautiful girl who had plenty of muscle to spare.” The funny, honest videos tell the story of their everyday lives and the challenges of being part of an interabled relationship.
Born with spinal muscular atrophy, Shane is also the author of three books, the recently released Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse, Laughing at My Nightmare and the award-winning picture book Not So Different. The couple’s goal in documenting their lives is to challenge perceptions about interabled relationships and show the world that their love is as exciting, romantic and real as any other.
Beauty blogger Ruby Allegra
According to Bustle, Adelaide-based blogger Ruby Allegra is one of a growing number of people challenging representations of beauty in media. She now has over 30,000 followers on instagram, and while she originally started on the platform to promote her makeup business, her account has become a channel to “explore the activism side of Instagram.” Her key messages? Body positivity and self-care.
If you’re looking for more beauty and makeup inspiration, take a read of Huffpost’s article; 5 Incredible Beauty Bloggers With Disablities You Need To Follow
Carly Findlay’s Say Hello
Author, journalist and visibility activist Carly Findlay this year released a book, Say Hello, which is a frank account of her life as well as a commentary on ableism, media representation and beauty privilege. Carly was born with a rare genetic skin disorder called Ichthyosis, which causes the skin to build up and scale. Previously appearing on ABC’s series You Can’t Ask That, Findlay’s aim with the book and her blog is to encourage disability pride and educate people without difference to be conscious of their interactions with others. In her words, representation is essential, ‘Disability literature must be disability-led’.
Love a good podcast? Check out Carly’s blog: Six podcasts about disabilities, chronic illnesses and mental health that I love.
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