I recently interviewed Melanie Taddeo who founded Voices 4 Ability. It is an online radio station that offers a variety of subjects, both entertaining and informative for people with disabilities and those around them. Here is what she had to say:
What inspired you to start Voices 4 Ability?
As someone with a visual impairment who cannot read the “typical” written word, I wanted to create a platform for people with disabilities to have a voice and showcase their talents.
What radio shows are on Voices 4 Ability?
- Femme Time
- Deliciously Disabled
- Ability Panel
- The Neutral Zone
- Alternative Rock Overload
- Ability NOW
- Straight Up with Jam
What does a typical day look like for someone working at Voices 4 Ability?
Each host is responsible for recording/editing their own shows from a place that is convenient for them. They then send their episodes to our program coordinator who ensures that they are uploaded onto our network.
Tell us about the Connect 4 Life broadcasting training program, and how would people access it?
This 24-week radio broadcast training program is unique in that it is the first in Canada designed for people with disabilities. It introduces students to basic radio production, the use of digital audio editing software and how to operate studio equipment, as well as the theory behind it. Students will also be introduced to on-air presentation, including news and sports writing, presentation, and accessible content.
Classes will be held at the modern and fully accessible Broadcast Training Centre located at 264 Lakeshore Rd. E , in Port Credit, Ontario for easy access from anywhere in Peel / Halton and the GTA. (BTC), specializes in disability training.
Our instructors have 30 years of experience in the radio broadcast field, and along with our support staff, we offer a class ratio of 5 to 1 that creates an intimate classroom experience
We are proud of our unique education and training programs, tailored to meet the needs of over 171,030 people with disabilities in Peel Region, as well as our Internet radio station. “Voices4Ability”, that brings a voice to our community.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does broadcasting enable individuals?
It provides individuals with a platform to express themselves and tell their stories. It also builds their confidence and self esteem.
What are the success stories of your staff/volunteers at Voices 4 Ability?
One of our hosts, Andrew, from ‘Deliciously Disabled’ was able to create his brand which helped him in his personal business as a disability consultant on sex and disability.
Another volunteer, Josh, in his role as administrative assistant, was able to increase his level of job readiness and self confidence in pursuing employment opportunities.
What is a challenge that you currently face?
Creating awareness and securing funding are our two biggest challenges right now.
What are you looking forward to the most this year when it comes to Voices 4 Ability?
We are modifying our business model in order for it to become a social enterprise for Connect 4 Life.
What is the ultimate goal for Voices 4 Ability and Connect 4 Life?
To have a permanent location where we can house everything under one roof: Connect 4 Life, the Life Skills Program and Voices 4 Ability.
If you can ask our readers for one thing to act on, what would it be?
GET INVOLVED: help us spread the word, raise funds and make a positive difference for people with disabilities.