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My Podcast, My Rules

20 March, 2017

Earning an income when you have disability is not easy. As stubbornly independent as I am, I‘m only all too aware of this. My physical limitations play a significant role in what job opportunities are available to me.

So, while mainstream employment is an obvious challenge, it would be nice to think I had the advantage of being disabled all my life. There are countless disability organisations, you would think, that would offer roles to people with disabilities.

Through writing blogs though, I continued to notice, what has become an epidemic in disability culture. I have lost count of the number of offers I have received for my blogs to be published. I have also had plenty of requests to write for an organisation’s website. Sounds very exciting, until it comes to a demoralising end when I hear those familiar words – ‘we can’t pay you.’

While I tend to go with the flow thinking, at least I’ll get some publicity, it’s disturbing that it happens so frequently in 2017. I mean seriously, if the disability sector can’t get it right, what hope do we have? I have regularly been told, people with disabilities need to share their experiences. It has also become a common belief that only people with a disability have the expertise required for the matters that relate to them.

"As I see it, people with disabilities need to back themselves more, and realise they have a unique perspective on life."

"It will take some time before I see any money from it, but I can work from home and choose the hours I work. This allows me to be able to do all the boring stuff that comes with having a disability,"

Yet, you could go to a stack of disability organisations and not see anyone with a disability in their workforce; attendant care providers and DHHS probably being the worst offenders, given they are literally surrounded by people with disabilities.

However, delving into how all disability organisations should be offering employment opportunities to people with disability versus why they don’t is excruciatingly frustrating (and I will come to it another time), so I decided to write about what I am currently doing.

After starting a wrestling podcast I decided to do one about my life, simply titled ‘The Lachlan McLeod Show’, starting November last year.

As I see it, people with disabilities need to back themselves more, and realise they have a unique perspective on life. Last year this became blatantly obvious to me, after I went to an employment group for people with spinal cord injury. Of the group, I can proudly say I acquired a spinal cord injury before anybody else. I was diagnosed at 10 months old, which makes my perspective of spinal cord injury and disability unique; most people acquire a spinal cord injury much later in life.

It will take some time before I see any money from it, but I can work from home and choose the hours I work. This allows me to be able to do all the boring stuff that comes with having a disability, without feeling like I’m not getting anything done.

 

More importantly though, it’s another way to make a difference. Obviously, I talk about disability, but that’s not the sole focus. This year I turn 40, which means I have been doing this a long time. So while I try to remain respectful of other opinions, the best way to create change is to remove the disability. What that means is talk about comics, movies, heavy metal, sex and various other personal topics, to challenge the perception of what life with a disability is. A challenge that will last forever, because it’s not widely accepted that I’m actually a man with a brain, a man with interests, opinions, aspirations and emotions just like the rest of society.

Of course I can’t complain, because if I overcome that, then what would I do with my life?!

My podcast does not have a regular schedule, however, you can listen to it here: http://lachlanmcleod.libsyn.com

Lachlan McLeod has lived with an SCI his whole life. He is currently writing a blog to demonstrate that people with disability do have fulfilling lives. When he is not doing that, he enjoys watching professional wrestling and listening to heavy metal music.

Tags: Blog, Career, employment, study