Writers with disability

Write-ability participants at 2014 Emerging Writers Festival
Photo by Paul Dunn

Our award-winning Write-ability program aims to support writers with disability wishing to develop their skills and writing careers.

The program began as a partnership with Arts Access Victoria in 2012. Before Write-ability, writing programs for people with disability in Victoria were few and far between. Examples of successful Australian writers with disability are rare (and deaf writers even more so). Consequently, the number of authentic voices recording the stories of the lived experience of disability has been limited.

We are still more likely to see a non-disabled actor performing a character with disability than one of Australia’s talented disabled actors on stage or screen. The same goes for non-disabled writers telling disabled people’s stories.

“There need to be more people with disability telling our stories across all types of media. Telling our own stories educates, reduces stigma, pity, exploitation and sensationalism, and raises the level of expectation that society has about people with disability” – Write-ability tutor Carly Findlay.

The Write-ability ethos has been built around the importance of self-told stories, disability-leadership and peer support, and the creating of opportunities for even the quietest voices to be heard.

When we say that Write-ability is a program for people with disability, we mean that it's for anyone who experiences barriers as a result of their particular impairment or condition (such as the lack of physical access, communication barriers, discrimination or other people’s attitudes).

This includes (but isn't limited to) people with sensory or physical impairments, hidden impairments, ongoing medical conditions, intellectual impairments, learning difficulties or mental health conditions. If you self identify as a person with disability, or as someone who experiences barriers as a result of your condition, then this opportunity is for you.

Our projects and activities change every year. Check out our Write-ability Archive for more information about the program, or visit our calendar for upcoming events. For more information about Write-ability programs, contact Write-ability Mentor-In-Residence Fiona Tuomy on 03 9094 7837 or email Fiona.

In April 2017, our new Write-ability Goes Regional and On-line program will be launched in Ballarat. Write-ability Goes Regional and Online is a three-year program for aspiring writers with disability living in regional Victoria. Following the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the program will then move onto the Loddon region, Inner and Outer Gippsland, Ovens Murray, Western Districts, Goulburn and Mallee regions. The project has been assisted by the Australian government through the Department of Communication and the Arts’ Catalyst—Australian Arts and Culture Fund.

Own Voices Forum: Why Writing Matters is in Ballarat on Thursday 27 April 2017 and will explore how writing and storytelling can help develop new ways of thinking about the self, disability, and community.  For more information about the Own Voices Forum and how to book, visit our calendar event listing or contact Write-ability Goes Regional and On-line Project Officer Harriet Gaffney - email Harriet.

Write-ability Fellowships

Our Write-ability Fellowships provide five writers with tailored professional development opportunities each year. Applications for the 2016 fellowships have now closed.

WV welcomes deaf writers

See our video for an introduction to this website in Auslan. This video was produced by Sign Language Video Productions thanks to the support of Arts Access Australia.


You can read more about how to use this website or find information about building access and how to get here on this website.

Or contact us for more information.

With thanks

“This has opened doors for me to enter the writing world as a deaf writer.”

The Write-ability program is a partnership between Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria made possible by the generous support of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Grace Marion Wilson Trust.

Write-ability is also grateful for the support of the City of Melbourne, Copyright Agency Ltd, the Ian Potter Foundation, Perpetual, the Australian Government through the Australia Council, and the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria. The development of this accessible website and Write-ability Archive was made possible by Gandel Philanthropy in 2015.