Welcome to the disAbilities Handbook! We are working on a screen-reader accessible version (with even more content) but in the meantime, have attached the PDF (or click on the cover image) and a full audio version of the handbook content, below.
This project was sparked by an idea from Stephane Bertrand at CKUT-FM in Montreal.
At the 2009 National Campus and Community Radio Conference in Montreal, he helped host a panel on accessibility and community radio that featured people from his show, The Avalanche, and other people with disabilities from across the country. The session was packed and almost everyone had questions and stories from their own stations.
Later that week, Stephane said he had been thinking: about how to help more stations become accessible, how to encourage stations to start shows done by people with physical and intellectual disabilities, and how to get more people with disabilities involved in community radio.
He suggested creating a handbook (with an accompanying CD — we are radio people after all) that would help support this important work. Later that year Cameron Wells, host of Handi-link at CJAM-FM in Windsor, came on board — helping host another panel discussion, this time at an Ontario regional conference in Kingston.
So we scraped together some money, held a planning and production weekend in Ottawa, found Steffanie Pinch, our editor, funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program, formed an editorial committee (thanks to Paul Daniel, Rebecca Robb and David Robbins-Singh,) and now three years after Stephane first thought it up: you’re looking at the result!
This work is intended to help c/c stations create open and safe spaces, adapt station set-up, training and policies to be more accessible to everyone, and get a glimpse of the work people with disabilities are already doing in the sector. But this is only a starting point — talk to people with disabilities working and volunteering at your station and to advocacy groups on your campus and in your community to get more detailed feedback on what you can do better.
Finally, keep us posted. We’re already talking about the disAbilities Handbook version 2.0!