Meeting Place 2021 launched its online forum with a bang this year as keynote speakers offer reflections to overcome ableism and tips for the revolution. Speaking from a series of heartfelt experiences, keynote speakers Georgia Cranko, Riana Head-Toussaint and Joshua Pether address this year’s theme: Reflect; Redefine; Revolutionise!, highlighting ways they grapple with toxic structural inequalities to lead the revolution.
“I can’t believe I just won the Golden Slam,” Alcott said following his win. “I used to hate myself so much, I hated my disability, I didn’t even want to be here any more. I found tennis and it changed and saved my life. Now I’ve become the only male ever in any form of tennis to win the Golden Slam which is pretty cool.”
“Thanks for making the dreams of a young fat disabled kid with a really bad haircut come true because I can’t believe I just did it!” he told the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd. “I just can’t believe I just won the golden slam!”
I remember at the time hearing my grandmother say she couldn’t come to watch my races, as she found the sight of so many people with disability too distressing. She was a gorgeous, compassionate woman, and she just felt so sorry for all these “poor” people. It just broke her heart to think about the barriers they would face in their lives. I didn’t realise it at the time, but it was representative of the views many people still have, even today.
The theme for the Tokyo 2020 Games is ‘unity in diversity’, touting ideals of equality and acceptance. But when it comes to cash prizes for Olympians and Paralympians, in some countries like Australia and host country Japan, that is far from the case.
Despite many people with disability being highly skilled with incredible stories to tell, a lack of accessible career pathways, employment opportunities and commitment to authentic representation are creating significant blockages for those wanting to forge careers on or behind our screens – although there are signs things are changing.
As live music returns in much of the country, advocates and artists with disability say the industry should learn some lessons from the pandemic and build back up in a more inclusive way.
During the pandemic, when the world shrank, many of us walked in the bush. For someone who can’t see, it isn’t necessarily something that I can do independently. But over the years, it is something that has become important to me.
In this episode, we speak with Carly Findlay about ableism, the media and the new book Growing Up Disabled in Australia.
The new series of The Crown is extraordinary in two ways. Not only does the storyline include Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon, the Queen’s cousins who both had a learning disability, but it has also cast actors with a learning disability in those parts.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) are to sign a historic Co-operation Agreement to advance the rights of persons with disabilities and jointly commit to use Para sport as a vehicle to drive the human rights agenda forward.
New Paralympic wheelchair basketball eligibility rules have ruined dreams, and raised significant questions
Annabelle Lindsay is one of two Australian Gliders who recently had their hopes of competing dashed by a change in the classification rules for wheelchair athletes set to compete at the Games, being told they were now ineligible just weeks before the proposed start of the Games, had they taken place this year.
“I got bullied because of my disability, I used to get called a cripple or a spastic everywhere I went. That stuff made it really hard for me — and I believed them. I believed I was less than them.” Alcott said that changed when he went to his first wheelchair tennis tournament, where he said his eyes were opened.
Dylan Alcott accuses US Open organisers of discrimination after wheelchair tennis is dropped for the 2020 event
High-profile Paralympian and wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott has slated officials for taking his competitions off the schedule for this year’s US Open tournament. “It is blatant discrimination for able-bodied people to decide on my behalf what I do with my LIFE AND CAREER just because I am disabled. Not good enough,” he said.
He’s won numerous marathons worldwide, taken home three Gold medals at the Paralympics, and two more at the Commonwealth Games. Kurt Fearnley is without a doubt one of Australia’s greatest athletes.