Own stories, own voices

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Write-ability Goes Regional and Online

A photograph of Jax Jacki Brown
Jax Jacki Brown

The Own Voices Forum in Ballarat in April 2017 will explore how writing and storytelling can help develop new ways of thinking about the self, disability, and community.

The forum is for people with disability in Ballarat and the Central Highlands region, as well as arts and community development workers, disability and health service providers, teachers, local councils and libraries.

By bridging the gap between mainstream arts and disability communities, the Own Voices Forum will use writing to break down barriers to social inclusion and give people with disability the skills and opportunity to tell their stories their way.

When: Thursday 27th April 2017, 10am to 3.30pm
Where: Museum of Australian Democracy At Eureka (MADE), corner Stawell St South & Eureka Street, Ballarat

Book your free place on the Writers Victoria website. (For catering purposes, bookings are required by Friday 21st April 2017).

At the Forum, you will:

  • Learn about why writing matters, the Social Model of Disability, advocacy and power.
  • Learn about best-practice language and how to write about disability.
  • Develop creative and professional writing skills with a workshop led by disability writer, activist and performer Jax Jacki Brown.
  • Learn about upcoming writing opportunities for people with disability in the region (and how to get involved).

Following the forum, the program will include workshops, author talks and webinars for people with disability interested in writing and build writing skills for creativity and employment.

More discounts for people with disability

People with disability in the Central Highlands can also get 30% off a Writers Victoria membership by before the end of June 2017. Find out more on the Writers Victoria website.

About the event

The Own Voices Forum is part of Write-ability Goes Regional and Online, one of the only fully-accessible and disability-led writing and literary initiatives in Australia.

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.

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

Write-ability Goes Regional and Online aims to engage with and support writers with disability, who are hugely under-represented in the writing and publishing sector.

“As a young person growing up in a regional town, it would have made such a difference to my self-esteem and lessened my feelings of isolation if I could have read work by other people with disability,” said Write-ability tutor Jax Jacki Brown, “stories that depicted people with disability as whole, complete human beings leading rich and messy lives, having lovers, having children, living independently, finding joy and confidence in who they were."

The Write-ability program is a partnership between Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria. This project has been assisted by the Australian government through the Department of Communication and the Arts’ Catalyst—Australian Arts and Culture Fund. The Own Voices Forum is presented in collaboration with MADE. Write-ability is also supported by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Grace Marion Wilson Trust.

For more information, please email Harriet.