This week I attended a meeting with a group of disability advocates at Community Living Association keen on starting their own radio show on Zed Digital. The group were enthusiastic about helping educate others about their lives and between them have a wealth of self-advocacy experience speaking at conferences, mental health functions and similar. Some of the topics they have spoken on covered what it is like to live with a disability, mental health problems, problem solving and bad experiences. They had a mutual sense that most people don’t know anything about their lives and that public education might increase their acceptance in the wider community.
Unfortunately many shared the common experience of being oppressed and picked-on because of their difference to others, specifically the sense that people think they are weak and unable to defend themselves. One of the instances they raised was the recent case of a young man with Down’s Syndrome being refused by a security guard to enter a large electronics chain simply based on his appearance. His cause went viral and the chain store, JB HI-Fi was forced to apologise.
The new, as yet nameless radio show, hopes to talk about:
- specific instances of oppression such as the JB hifi incident
- the difficulty that the abuse of disability parking spaces by non-disabled people poses for them (and a shout out to NoPermitNoPark)
- their own continuing experiences of being abused by people in the community
- helping themselves and others to speak up for themselves
- warning others of risks like scammers and abuse in the workplace
- talking about mental health issues
- talking about housing
- talking about all the great organisations out there that do help such as the CLA Independent Youth Housing Group
- meet a range of advocates and other guests from the community
- play some awesome music
It’s now my job to make it technically possible. I look forward to the challenge!