Ausnew Home Care | Riverland radio employee with cerebral palsy wins

Riverland radio employee with cerebral palsy wins role as disability advocate within ABC

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Bill Johnson got a foot in the door at the ABC through work experience and 15 years later he's playing a key role as a disability advocate within the national broadcaster.

Today as part of International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) he co-hosted a regional South Australian ABC radio program.

It's the latest achievement in his career with the ABC, where he works at its Renmark station in the Riverland region of South Australia.

In the past couple years he has contributed to editorial guidance notes as part of the ABC's Disability Inclusion Plan to ensure journalists and presenters use appropriate language when talking about disability.

"I've been asked to create a lot of policy stuff," Mr Johnson said.

A man and two women are standing together, looking at the camera and smiling. Ausnew Home Care, NDIS registered provider, My Aged Care
Bill Johnson has connected with people right across the ABC, including chair Ita Buttrose and disability affairs reporter Nas Campanella, to help shape the organisation's Disability Inclusion Plan.(

ABC: Bronwyn Purvis


Mr Johnson uses a wheelchair and when he first started work there was a step at the back door that needed to modified.

"My disability is cerebral palsy or spastic diplegia," he said.

"There are different levels of cerebral palsy. I'm mild, so I can pretty much dress myself and shower myself with help.

"The bottom half doesn't work that well, but the top half is OK."

Mr Johnson is a content maker who has worked to produce cross-promotional audio and also assisted with the former Voice of Greek program.

In the lead up to IDPwD he had the opportunity to create a promotional piece of audio with Australian Paralympian Kurt Fearnley and former ABC Triple J newsreader and now national disability reporter Nas Campanella, who is blind.

He said his goal was to make the ABC more accessible for everyone and to continue to enjoy coming to work.

"They are all like my family, I love these guys dearly," he said.


Source: ABC

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