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Series 2, Episode 1: Advocating for accessibility

In this second series of Inform, we’ll be discussing accessibility. But not as you might know it. From accessible workplaces, to assistive technology, we’ll be asking what accessibility means and why it matters. We’ll also be discussing some strategies and tips for things like advocating for accessibility or accessing information on assistive technology.

Accessibility in the workplace

In episode one, we spoke with Daniel, a lawyer who has experience advocating for his own accessibility. For Daniel, accessibility is about welcoming people in. He discusses how his vision impairment impacts his experience navigating the world and talks about what he did to advocate for his own accessibility in the workplace. He also has some tips and advice for anyone in a similar situation.

I think for me, accessibility comes back to that idea that you want to welcome people in rather than shut people out. And by acknowledging that that’s not easy, that’s part of it. But by acknowledging that it’s necessary, that’s also a really important part of it—Daniel

Health equality and accessibility

Also in this episode we speak with epidemiologist, Dr Jerome Rachele. Dr Rachele works in the disability and health unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. He discusses his research about the link between accessible cities and health equality. And he too has some advice for dealing with accessibility challenges.

So if we have an accessible city, we have an inclusive society. And politicians, for example, often will speak about the need to have people in employment, so that they can be off the Disability Support Pension or can be paying tax. But inclusion in society is so much more than that. It’s so much more than just employment. It’s about, you know, allowing people to be different, allowing people to participate in recreation, allowing people to attend events, having a society where everyone’s welcome and can have no restrictions in their participation—Dr Jerome Rachele

Vision Australia Radio

Before we hear from Daniel and Dr Rachele though, we visit Vision Australia Radio. At Vision Australia, we talk to Conrad Browne the manager of Vision Australia Radio and Audio and volunteer reader, Jo Manager. We discuss the services offered by Vision Australia Radio and how they make information accessible for a wide audience.

It was a quite an interesting way of using the community radio network to deliver this service publicly. In a way, it was really revolutionary, because you were using something that reaches a lot of people in a in a way that was truly accessible. Everyone had a radio in their home. It’s evolved over the 40 years, but it still has remained quite true to itself—Conrad Browne

Do you have a story of accessibility that you’d like to share? Get in touch at [email protected]

Thank you for joining us for episode one of series two of the Inform podcast. If you’re keen to hear more, go back and listen to our first series where we focused on work. You can find those episodes here.

Stay tuned for the next episode in this series, coming soon. In the meantime, subscribe for free to be the first to hear about future episodes of Inform Podcast.

Host & Producer: Kirby Fenwick
Managing editor: Alison Crowe
Sound Designer: Imogen Hanrahan

With thanks to Conrad Browne and Jo Manger at Vision Australia Radio, Dr Jerome Rachele and Daniel.

Find more information on the services offered by Vision Australia Radio here.

Find more information about the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health here.

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