Photo of a sign that says "On Air"

Penny’s Blog: Live on Air!

Live On Air….

As part of the work I am doing for Disability Pride I went on Future Radio’s Norwich today show 107.8 FM to promote the event and Equal Lives…

I sent in a short piece to reiterate the aim of Disability Pride and was asked to arrive at the studios 10 minutes before the show would go out.

I had been reassured it would be an informal, relaxed interview and not to worry about forgetting things, as the experienced interviewer would be there to guide me through the interview with questions at the ready.

For some reason I kept finding myself worrying about what I should wear, and then it dawns on me it’s the radio, and that’s something I don’t need to worry about! Then I find myself forgetting that bit and begin worrying what to wear, and it goes round in a circle (after all they say TV adds pounds to you, so maybe I will wear something slimming just in case the radio does it too and I sound bigger over the air waves!!!)

Anyway I arrived nice and early about 12.15pm, oooooh and then the wait…..wherever you have to wait and for whatever reason it always reminds you of the dentist! I just wanted to get on with it….

Microphone and Radio Equipment

I was shown into the studio and introduced to Mike whilst my support worker made a hasty retreat out of the room, far far away from any microphone! Ha Ha!

Mike and I had time for a brief chat about Disability Pride whilst a song was playing (hmmm Blondie I think it was) and then it was time to go on air – note to myself “don’t wave your hands about whilst you talk otherwise the microphone may take a direct hit”..

Photo of a sign that says

To start with I talked about the positivity of the Disability Pride event; showcasing disabled people getting on with their lives – playing music, theatre, running businesses – all the everyday things that, for some reason, some people think disabled people can’t, don’t or shouldn’t do…

I also explained it was about what the positive work groups, organisations and businesses are doing to make their services more accessible, and that by showcasing these positive examples we hope others will be encouraged to follow suit.

Whilst the event is about celebrating, having fun and encouraging others to get out there and give things a go, it is also an opportunity for people to obtain information on a range of products, groups, services and a whole variety of other opportunities. Plus a chance for everyone to open up those communication channels which can only go towards making things more accessible and inclusive for all.

We also discussed how often disabled people are seen only as their impairment; which is only a tiny part of who we are. We are also employees, parents, brothers and sisters. We enjoy music, theatre, sports, throwing ourselves out of aeroplanes, and all the other things that life has to offer…..

Its really strange being on the radio as you know what you want to say, but the combination of thinking about what you are saying, saying it and thinking what comes next, along with “can I say that/use a company’s name” is quite mindboggling but you just have to get on with it…..

Mike was very good and really got the concept of what we were aiming to do, saying that when he had first heard about it, he wondered why we weren’t already doing it before – not us specifically but the wider “us” that is! Ha Ha.

Break for another song (Steve Winwood), Mike and I continued to talk off air. Knowing how much I can talk when I am enthusiastic about something, I had to be aware of when he counted down to go back on air…

We then talked about some of the things happening on the day …

Disability Pride Flyer













I thanked The Forum for their support and said about the interactive stands and stalls, the music, poetry, talks on Mindful chocolate eating, BSL, Nurtured Heart Approach and the Truth Fairy. Although I did say people would have to come along on the day to find out what that was, reiterating that it was the “Truth Fairy” and not the “Tooth Fairy” so people were not to bring their teeth (obviously people can bring the teeth fixed in their mouths but not any extras!).

I also spoke of First bus coming to highlight the things they have been doing to improve accessibility for customers (this time reiterating that “other bus companies were available”). Also about Changing Places, the Dandy’s “Pose and Paint like a Dandy” and the productions going on at the Arts Centre and the potential of Cinema City…oh and Martin’s boma ride…

I tried to get in as much as I could in the time available and we only had a little time at the end to give the Equal Lives website, Disability Pride Facebook and Twitter accounts and for Mike to tell everyone that I had worked at Equal Lives for Eight and a half years. I had written it out as I tried to send it to Future Radio in numbers, but it read it back to me as eighty one point two years which is a long time in anyone’s books, and it only feels like that some days!

Mike then thanked me for coming and asked me to go back again when we get closer to the event, for which I thanked him and said I would.

Then it was out of the studio (not forgetting to collect a support worker on the way, or was that the other way round?) and then it was back out into the glorious sunshine – yeah.

The show was replayed that evening, but I doubt very much whether I will listen to myself. I am sure I am not alone in not wanting to listen to myself….At the end of the day it was an enjoyable experience, it let me have the opportunity to talk (Ha Ha) and most of all it promoted the positive work that is going on to bring Disability Pride to life.

So thankyou to Future Radio for the opportunity.

Cue the News – no I am not writing any news, that is what happened; the show ended and it was over to the news.

I guess being comfortable and happy in whatever I am wearing is what matters, as we all know what it is like to wear something that is just that little bit too tight – ooooh especially after all that cake!

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