For our fifth episode, WWDA Youth Advisory Group member Jade Taylor interviews Carly Findlay, a prominent disabled activist and writer in Australia. Jade and Carly talk about Carly’s journey to becoming an activist, what it means to identify as having a disability, the impact of social media on the lives of people with disability and more!

Download a transcript of this episode here or read below.


Amy James:                  (singing)

Jade Taylor:                  Hi, everyone. Welcome back to episode five of the Women With Disabilities Australia, or WWDA Youth Network Podcast. Today, we are excited to be interviewing Carly Findlay, a prominent disability activist and writer in Australia. I will start by Acknowledgment of Country, acknowledging that I’m calling in from the Taribelang, and that this land was stolen and never ceded. I would also like to acknowledge our elders, past, present, and extend that to any indigenous listeners. So, Carly, tell us about you, where you are from and what you do.

Carly Findlay:                Hi, I’m Carly and I am coming to you from Wurundjeri country on the lands of the Kulin nation here in [Nam 00:01:06], and I’d also like to pay my respects to aboriginal elders, past and present. And as a writer, I always like to give a shout out to an Aboriginal writer. So go check out the work of Gayle Kennedy. Gayle is, um, an incredible writer from Gadigal country. Um, so I’m a writer, I’m a speaker and an appearance activist and I also work in the arts.

Carly Findlay:                I do a heap of things. I’ve got a lot of hats. Um, and so, yeah. Mostly, I speak, I would reckon, out of all the types of work I do. Um, but I have written a book called Say Hello and I, um, have edited Growing Up Disabled in Australia, which is an anthology of 46, um, other disabled people writing. And, um, I work for Melbourne Fringe as access advisor. And I’m also working on an exciting project with the Arts Centre Melbourne called Alter State, which is a disability arts festival. So lots on all the time and really busy.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, I can imagine.

Carly Findlay:                Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jade Taylor:                  Uh, and I was, um, I followed you for a very, very long time and, uh…

Carly Findlay:                Thank you.

Jade Taylor:                  Follow you from the project through to, you know, the Fringe and all that stuff.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  So, no, I can imagine you are busy all the time.

Carly Findlay:                Oh, thank you.

Jade Taylor:                  What made you want to become a disability activist and writer?

Carly Findlay:                Oh, it sort of… it sort of just happened. I became a writer first, though. Um, I’ve always, always loved writing. And when, um, I started to write really, which I guess I started to tell stories before I wrote. When I was in hospital as a kid, and when my parents were helping treat my sk- skin, I would help them make up stories to distract me from these medical treatments. And so that happened from a really early age and I would write at school.

Carly Findlay:                And, um, I always wanted to be a journalist. I used to grow… I, I used… Sorry, I used to live in, um, a little town near Albury-Wodonga, on the New South Wales-Vic border. And I always wanted to be a journalist when I was at high school and I did lots of work experience in journalism. But in Albury-Wodonga, there was no journalism studies at universities, so I couldn’t do it straight after school. So I got a really boring place and in a boring degree. I did a, uh, a business degree, Bachelor of E-Commerce.

Carly Findlay:                And then I moved to Melbourne and I could study, uh, journalism when I moved to Melbourne. Um, and so I did that. But I’ve always written online mostly with blogging, and then that led to me getting published in some news outlets online, um, while I was doing my degree, my Masters degree. And then I just, yeah, found that writing about disability or my own experiences of disability could help me find my own disability identity. And then that led to being a disability activist.

Jade Taylor:                  And that’s a big thing. Like, learning your disability identity. In a big, crazy world, it is such a big thing.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah, it really is. I feel like when I was a kid, um, I didn’t identify as being disabled. Even though I’ve got this lifelong skin condition that’s really severe, I didn’t identify because I didn’t see anyone like me. And I didn’t think that it counted as a disability because we only saw disability in certain ways on the TV.

Jade Taylor:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Carly Findlay:                You know, we saw Paralympians, always saw awful stories on the current affair of misrepresentation of disability. And so it really, it took me to meet other disabled people and other people who are chronically ill to identify and to realize, “Oh hey, this is me too.”

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, and that’s a big thing like seeing other people in your situation is huge for your own personal growth.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It really… I think that finding other people, and even with different diagnoses, it helped, well, it helped to know that, um, because of the social model, we all experience very similar barriers. You know, the discrimination, and the time off school, and the lots of doctors, and all of that stuff we had in common, even though we have different diagnoses. And so that was so important to me to realize that it is okay to identify as chronically ill and then disabled. And, um, that these people have more in common with me than not, even though we’re different diagnoses.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, exactly.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  How did, how does social media impact your role as an advocate, Carly?

Carly Findlay:                Uh, well, I think it’s helped a lot in the form of connection. Online connection is really important for, for disabled people because we often can’t go out and do a lot of other things that non-disabled people do. And so it’s help connection, um, it’s helped make friends and, um, it’s also helped my work in that it’s become more prominent. So, um, as an example, I wrote a piece a very long time ago now, probably 10 years ago, for, um, Mamma Mia. And the, um, Centre for Appearance Research, which is in Bristol, the United S- uh, United Kingdom.

Carly Findlay:                They are at a, uh, they are a university and they work on appearance-based, um, psychology and, and support for people with facial differences, body differences, um, yeah, so skin conditions etc. And they found my piece and they tweeted it, and I said thank you. And then I said I really liked what you do. At the time they were developing a per- a support system for young people with facial differences. And they asked me to review that support system, um, and then they came to Australia for an event. And some of them did.

Carly Findlay:                And then they asked me if I wanted to come and speak at their event in Bristol the next year. And so that literally started because I wrote an article online and, and they tweeted me. And then this year, I was the keynote speaker at their event again. Um, this, yeah, but I didn’t obviously go. Because I was, um, you know, COVID. Um, and so I did, I did it from here and I was, yeah, just really amazing that so many opportunities have come about because I have an online presence.

Carly Findlay:                And the other thing is that, through writing my story, it helps other people to tell their story. And that is a real amazing thing, I think, to empower someone. And I was saying the other day that if my s- telling my story helps people become honest about their disability, that’s great. And especially if they become honest with their disability to themselves. Because so many people are in denial or not wanting to admit or they’ve got internalized ableism. And, and lots of people have told me that through me telling my story through writing or speaking or videos online, they’ve realized that it’s, again, it’s okay to, you know, be disabled and to call yourself disabled. And so they have experienced that, you know, identity as I have.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  And that’s a huge thing.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  Like, it’s just all about leaving your little footprint in the world, right?

Carly Findlay:                Yeah, absolutely, it, it really is. And if I’ve help one person, that’s enough.

Jade Taylor:                  Exactly.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  So we know you from your book that you didn’t always identify as a person with a disability.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  Can you tell us about when you started to identify as disabled?

Carly Findlay:                Yeah, it would have been in my mid to late 20s. I was, um, mentoring, uh, a program run by the Children’s Hospital in Melbourne called Chronic Illness Peer Support. The acronym was ChIPS. And then I met, as I was saying before, I met a lot of people who were, um, from 12 to 25 or 26 who had different diagnoses. And they were all, um… They, they were seeking out advocacy support and they were doing some really great stuff around the peer support model and, um, telling their stories in schools and in the media.

Carly Findlay:                And it wasn’t until I met those people when I realized that ichthyosis is a long… it’s the skin condition I have. It’s a long term condition, it’s lifelong, its… there’s no cure. I see heaps of specialists, I go to the hospital a lot, um, as an inpatient and outpatient, and it’s expensive. And I’ve experienced all these sorts of barriers, like discrimination. I’m just gonna cough. Sorry. Um, so I realized I experienced a lot of that stuff.

Carly Findlay:                So it was kind of then that I sort of took that chronic illness identity. And then as I was mentoring, I was also starting to write more about my own experiences with ichthyosis and, um, I pitched to this online magazine run by the state government here in Victoria. Um, and they, they ran a, um, magazine called DiVine online. And it was a disability magazine. It wasn’t disability-led unfortunately, but I wrote a lot around that. And then that led to our writing for ABC’s Ramp Up, and The Age, and Mamma Mia, as I said, and other places.

Carly Findlay:                And it was then that I really met other disabled people and identified as disabled. And I also did, um, for four years, three or four years on, um, a program called No Limits which is a show, or was a show run by disabled people on, uh, Channel 31, and that really helped as well. So it was the meeting other people that gave me the permission.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, yeah. And, and just meeting other people is such a huge basis when you’re dis- when you have a disability.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah, absolutely. Because when I was younger, I didn’t really ha- know anyone. You know? I grew up in this really small town and, um, I didn’t know anyone who was disabled, or maybe only one person. Um, I’m sure there were other people but, you know, I, I only saw disability in a certain way. And, yeah, that was really lonely. And so I think that, that’s why it’s been so important for me to be visible so that other people, um, realize that they’re not alone.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, and, uh, realizing you’re not alone, like I grew up in a small town. Same thing. You know, uh, there were a lot of different disabilities around me, but none of them were like me, if that makes sense?

Carly Findlay:                Okay. Yes.

Jade Taylor:                  And it was, it was very much so every time I went out of the city, I was always looking for someone like me. But back then, you know, like we didn’t have Instagram and Facebook. You know, it wasn’t in, growing up late 90s, early 2000s, that wasn’t like a huge thing back then. Whereas now, you know, we have all these great platforms where kids can go. And they can find other people just like them. And I think that’s so important.

Carly Findlay:                Mm-hmm (affirmative) Yeah, absolutely it is. It really is. And I think the Internet has just changed that for so many people.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah.

Carly Findlay:                Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jade Taylor:                  You’ve, you’ve written more recently on disability admin and the impact it has on your life. Is there anything you’d like to share on this?

Carly Findlay:                Oh.

Jade Taylor:                  Why do you think it’s important to share these experiences?

Carly Findlay:                That’s such a great question. Yeah, I’ve been thinking about the amount of time disabled people spend on doing things, um, related to our disability. But aren’t, isn’t necessarily like the treatment of the disability, maybe the management of the disability’s the right word. Um, and I absolutely recognize my privilege in that I have very little interaction with the government around DSP and NDIS. Uh, little or actually no interaction right there because I don’t receive it.

Carly Findlay:                But I noticed that not only were there long waits to the hospital appointment’s something that, you know, that I’ve experienced there for many, many years, um, because I’m in the public system. But also last year when COVID happened, um, when COVID started, I really realized the amount of letters that I had to get. So I had to get letters of exemption, um, for having, you know, for not being able to wear a mask, um, at times. I had to get letters to say that my cleaner could be here, because at the time cleaners were not an essential service. And I also then had to get a letter to get, um, my COVID vaccine.

Carly Findlay:                And every, like, uh, every time we had a lockdown, I’d have to get a new letter about the cleaner even though nothing had changed. Um, and, uh, I was thinking back to when we could travel. And the same thing would happen here when I’d have to disclose all sorts of medical information to get a bulkhead seat on the plane because I needed extra legroom and I needed extra luggage allowance, um, to carry my creams. And so that level of medical admin is exhausting. And I’m finding that a lot now because I know how stretched doctors are because of COVID and because of the healthcare system.

Carly Findlay:                And, you know, they’re making mistakes and I’m absolutely not blaming it on then, but the system means that we, we need to prove so much about our disability, it’s not believed. And the thing that really, um, struck me was when, um, I got my, you know, when, when we’re allowed to get COVID te- uh, our vaccinations earlier this year when they opened it up for 1B. I made an appointment on the same day, um, that it opened and I had to wait awhile. And they told me that I needed to get a letter from my doctor to prove that I was disabled.

Carly Findlay:                And I literally sort of said to, I don’t know, but I said to them at the time or, but I definitely said it to other people, “Can’t they just Google me? Like all of this information is out there. I’ve been very public about my disability.” I know that was a joke and I know that we need official documentation, but I was just at the end of my tether with this, you know, and like admin that I had to get. The proof of having this condition. And then I found out after I had my, my vaccination.

Carly Findlay:                And even then actually, I had to go very far away because at the time there wasn’t a Pfizer hub near me. So I had to do this three-hour round trip to get this Pfizer vax. And after that, a friend of mine said to me that their husband got a vax as their carer. And I said, “Oh, that’s great. I can ask my husband if he would go and get a vax as well.” And so by that time, we were in lockdown like number four or five, I don’t know, there were so many here. Um, and I said to Adam, go, uh, you can go get a vax now near home.

Carly Findlay:                And he didn’t need to provide any documentation, he didn’t have to wait very long. You know, he could do it right near home. He literally just walked in and said, “I’m here for my Pfizer vax.” And at the time, they weren’t, they weren’t open to the young people. You know, to people under 40. And they didn’t ask him any questions or anything. And I’m just like, “Wow.” You know, but I needed to provide all this proof that I needed to get this vaccine. And then again for the booster shot, I got, you know, denied by my GP.

Carly Findlay:                I’ve got turned away from a vax hub because they were only taking people that were on the list, even though there was a paragraph to say, “If you’re not on the list and you’ve got a letter, then we’ll take you.” And I had the letter. And it was just so tiring. And I know other people have been through this as well with their vax because there’s this burden of proof that we constantly have to provide. We constantly have to say that we’re disabled as if, you know, we overcome it in six months, which just doesn’t happen.

Jade Taylor:                  I was just about to say I had the exact same thing with you, as you with your vaccination.

Carly Findlay:                Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jade Taylor:                  I had the same thing. Because put a pair of jeans on me.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  I can walk into anywhere and I’ll just look, uh, like the next person beside me. You know, take that pair of jeans off and, you know, a bad walking day or something like that, and you can see that I have a disability.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  But if I’m giving a really good day, you’d never know.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  And I walked in and the lady said to me, “Oh, it’s not open for young people yet.” And I was like, “But I’m, but I have spina bifida.” And she was like, “But do you have proof of this?” And I was like…

Carly Findlay:                Oh.

Jade Taylor:                  “Oh, okay. So now I have to not only prove to every other part of my universe that I am disabled, but apparently now I have to prove to you, too?” And I was just like one of those things. I was like, “Okay, not doing that today.”

Carly Findlay:                Yeah, it really is tiring, isn’t it? And this to, and, and this… I think that’s because of the perception of what disability looks like, and also the, the perception that we’re all here rotting the systems. Like when I called for my third vax, I called my GP to get a letter. And she… And this was at the time when, um, Victoria was like 70% double vaxxed and nearly on the way to 80%. And she said to me, “Oh, I, I can’t give you the letter. It’s not fair because there’s so many people who haven’t had their first vax.” And I said, “Yeah, but that’s on them. And that’s also not true because we’re at 70%.”

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah.

Carly Findlay:                Add it just made me feel like I’m trying to, I don’t know, dodgy the system to get some kind of thing that I’m entitled to. It was so annoying.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, well, see I’m from Queensland. So up here now, we have like all these rules and restrictions coming in where if you’re not double vaccinated you can’t go to shops and you can’t do all those things.

Carly Findlay:                Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jade Taylor:                  And I mean, I wholeheartedly agree with it as someone with a compromised immune system.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  You know. Like I agree, Christmas is gonna be packed at places and, you know, if one person has it then you basically pass it on to everyone else, right?

Carly Findlay:                Yeah exactly. And also, like, the vax helps us to get freedom, but if we have to jump through so many hoops then, you know. And why do we not have to, why don’t we get the same kind of, um, levels of freedom in not providing so much stuff? You know documentation. And there’s other people, it’s always on us.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  We’ve noticed that you also use fashion and accessories as a form of self-expression.

Carly Findlay:                Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jade Taylor:                  Why do you think that helps you feel like your best? And do you have your favorite power outfit?

Carly Findlay:                (laughs) I like this question. Um, yeah, I, I’ve always really enjoyed fashion. But when I was younger, probably until I was about 30. So technically, ten years ago. I, um, I was always a bit nervous about standing out more than I did. You know? Like I’d buy these amazing clothes and, you know, like a metallic jacket or sequined on top. And then I’d be like, “Oh, no, I don’t. I don’t wanna draw too much attention to myself. I’m already drawing attention.” And so I just forgot to, you know, not forgot, but chose not to stand out as much.

Carly Findlay:                And then, uh, when I, I don’t know, around this time that I got married. I had a, um, a very bright, uh, jacket for the wedding. And, and then it was sort of then I was starting to wear more bright clothes. And just found all these other people that wore all these bright close as well, and they’ve become really good friends. And then, um, I’ve just found that through posting online, it makes me visible to other people both who like fashion. And also the brands to show them that, you know, disabled people are wearing these brands.

Carly Findlay:                Um, and I really like brooches. I don’t have my ears pierced so I know lots of people like really big earrings and stuff. I like brooches because they don’t hurt me. They don’t hurt my ears or don’t, you know, scratch my skin. And so I have a large collection of them. Um, I don’t know about a power suit but I got an Order of Australia medal last year which was exciting, and I wore, um, that the, the, the dress code was business attire. And I’m like, “Oh God, I don’t have anything that’s business attire.” Uh, and so I wore this purple and green jumpsuit. I really like purple and green. And it had a color so, you know, it’s a business attire.

Jade Taylor:                  (laughs)

Carly Findlay:                And, uh. (laughs) I wore a cape, um, that was like a, a white shimmery cape that, that was quite businessy. Um, it was almost like a suit jacket, but a cape. And then, um, that was really great. And so I really like that outfit. But my dad said, of course, in true dad fashion. He’s like, “Oh, that looks like a pair of pajamas.” And I said, “Yes, Dad, they’re very expensive pajamas.”

Jade Taylor:                  (laughs)

Carly Findlay:                And then, um, so I think that that was one of my favorites. And also, last year, um, around the time the Black Lives Matter, um, campaigns took hold and gained prominence, there was this campaign to get people, uh, black people, people of color on, um, Vogue magazine covers and, you know, magazine covers.

Carly Findlay:                And I had jokingly tweeted that I didn’t know how to do this for myself, uh, I’m a person of color. I didn’t know how to do this, so could someone please put me on the cover of Vogue Magazine? And then someone did, a woman called Karen in Newcastle did. And she made this really great cover and then, um, that made it into Vogue Magazine, which I was really excited about. And then, um, a bit later on when I had my Order of Australia, I’d posted the, um, the photo of me in my outfit. And she made another one on Breve Magazine. So that was really lovely.

Jade Taylor:                  Aw, that’s sweet.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah, it was really nice. And again, you know, the, there’s this friendship. There’s this level of support that you get online and finding other people who really enjoy fashion. Especially disabled people, that’s been really great for me. And, you know, Instagram is a great way to do that.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, for me, it’s bows. Like, if you ask any one of my friends, they’ll tell you I always have a bow in my hair.

Carly Findlay:                Oh yeah?

Jade Taylor:                  Really, I don’t leave the house without a bow in my head.

Carly Findlay:                Oh, that’s cute.

Jade Taylor:                  The amount of… The amount of JoJo bows I own at the age of 28 is absolutely ridiculous. But we would, we wouldn’t think about that. (laughs)

Carly Findlay:                Um, um, I bought a new car the other day. And although it was a second-hand car, um, it’s very new to me. And I asked them if they could put a bow on the car when I had a photo. And they [crosstalk 00:23:34] No, it was really rain- It was very windy and so, um, I was like trying to wrangle this bow to keep it down for the photo. But I got a bow on the car. Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  Aw, that’s, that’s so nice.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah. Yeah. (laughs)

Jade Taylor:                  What advice would you give to young, for, to a young person who wants to follow in your footsteps and become an activist or a writer but doesn’t know where to start?

Carly Findlay:                A great question. Um, just do it. Just start and write a little bit every day. Writing doesn’t mean you have to write a book or write an article. It doesn’t mean you have to tell your whole story like at first. Um, just start small. So start a blog or a public Facebook page or an Instagram account. Instagram’s really great for people who want to write, um, some impactful words but don’t wanna write a lot because as a word count on that. You know, a word limit. And so, um, you can write something really impactful with the picture and it can have as much impact as writing a blog post or an article.

Carly Findlay:                The other thing is, um, put it, you know, join groups like the Australian Disability Arts Community or Disabled and Chronically Ill and Deaf Australian Writers, and follow other writers in there and, um, put out like, follow call outs for anthologies or competitions and submit. Also, if you get, um, if you submit to somewhere, you know, that, you know, often the competition is really fierce. And if you get a rejection, it’s not the end of the world. Like, it doesn’t mean you need to stop writing, just keep going. They know who you are now. That’s great. And often opportunities will come from these, you know, from these rejections.

Carly Findlay:                So yeah, start that. And also, there’s no one way to do activism. I think in the disability community there are some people who gatekeep and who prescribe the way we do activism, but… and they can make it really scary for people because they think they’re doing it wrong. But there’s no wrong way, oh, uh, unless you’re harming people. There’s no lo- wrong way. So if activism for you is around fashion or is around, you know, making reels on TikTok, then that is great and that is a way to reach people. So keep doing that.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, it’s about what, what helps you and what makes your voice.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah, yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  Well, who are some voices, who are some voices we should be following in the disability space?

Carly Findlay:                Oh, there’s so many. Um, definitely follow Alice Wong. Alice runs the Disability Visibility Project and she is a incredible woman in, in the US. She’s been on the actual cover of Vogue. Um, she is just incredible. She’s, um, done an anthology called Disability Visibility, she does a podcast, she’s worked with the Barrack Obama administration. Um, so follow her. Imani Barbarin’s really great as well. Imani creates these really great hashtags that really bring community.

Carly Findlay:                Um, Emily Ladau is amazing. Emily’s in the US and she’s just written a book called Disability Demystified. Actually sorry, Demystifying Disability. And it is a book, I think, it’s aimed at allies, but it is also aimed at people who are new in the disability community. And it talks about, you know, how to talk about disability, how to talk to people with disability, um, how to, what language to use, and what language to avoid. So Emily’s great.

Carly Findlay:                In Australia, definitely follow El Gibbs. El is bluntshovels on Twitter and she writes a lot about NDIS and policy and media. She’s just so knowledgeable and so giving to the community. Um, the other person to follow is Mali Hermans, Vanamali Hermans, who I believe works at WWDA. Um, uh, she’s a First Nations woman and she’s just incredible. She runs the Disability Justice Network, which is a great initiative to provide mutual aid to disabled people. Um, the other person to follow is Renay Barker-Mulholland. She’s a, um, First Nations woman as well. And she does a lot on chronic pain and fashion and First Nations stuff. So that’s, yeah, that’s a really great person.

Carly Findlay:                And also in terms of art, Maddie Little. Maddie is the Director of Undercover Arts Festival, and that’s a disability-led festival. Um, she’s amazing. And also like Josh Pether and Rodney Bell, they’re working with me on Alter State there, too, um, First Nations dancers. And they’re yeah, they’re incredible. So, so many people that you can follow and, and find. Um, Elaine Dixon in the, in WA. Elaine is, um, a non-binary young person who’s just so great with writing and fashion, and, um, their voices just becoming stronger all the time. Yeah.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of people out there and, again, the Internet is helping a lot of people connect with a lot of other people. It’s just making our community bigger and stronger.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah, absolutely that’s right. And also, be really happy for people who are successful, you know? Their success doesn’t bring your success down.

Jade Taylor:                  No, exactly. And, and supporting people is only gonna make you better.

Carly Findlay:                Yeah, it really will. And you know, it’s, it’s, it’s lovely to get behind disabled people who are doing great things, yeah. And also, um, oh, the other person to follow is Elisha Matthews, Fridayology. She is really great in talking about, um, like access on the pavements and transport access. Um, she runs No Permit No Park, which is around educating people, um, around parking permits. And, yeah, she’s just really, really amazing to follow.

Jade Taylor:                  And that’s a whole another thing that I could talk about for hours is pavements and…

Carly Findlay:                (laughs)

Jade Taylor:                  Oh, I living in the some… in the city in a wheelchair, um, sometimes is just huge.

Carly Findlay:                Yup.

Jade Taylor:                  Like I can talk for hours on that. (laughs)

Carly Findlay:                (laughs) Maybe you and Elisha need to get together and talk on the podcast about that?

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, what about you? Where can our listeners find you?

Carly Findlay:                Um, so I write, um, mostly on Instagram now, I would say. Um, my Instagram handle is at @carlyfindlay, C-A-R-L-Y-F-I-N-D-L-A-Y, and I’m also on Twitter at that handle, on Facebook at Carly Findlay OAM. And I also have a blog, um, which is more, uh, the web, you know, the, and a book, Say Hello, and another book called Growing Up Disabled in Australia. So all those places. And, um, check out Alter State, check out Melbourne Fringe. We’ve got a year-round venue at Melbourne Fringe which is really exciting. So, you know, doing a lot around that. And, um, we’re gonna be talking about, um, some new initiatives for disabled artists next year, so watch that space. So yeah, lots of, lots of places, mostly online, just Google.

Jade Taylor:                  Just Google. Google’s great technique.

Carly Findlay:                It is. It’s been lovely to talk to you, Jade.

Jade Taylor:                  Finally, do you have any disability life hacks advice for young people listening?

Carly Findlay:                Um, life hacks, oh, um, gosh, I don’t know. Um, I think it’s like, if you, if you can get the courage to ask for what you need, it really helps you in life. Like through disclosing my disability and access needs, note that you don’t have to disclose your disability to ask for access needs, um, that has helped me so much. Like just, you know, saying, “I need a chair here” or, “I need a place with air conditioning” or, “I need to not sit outside.” That’s just help my life so much. And it took a lot of courage to do that. So trying to get that courage is, is really important.

Carly Findlay:                Um, the other thing is, um, I think it’s just about thinking beyond your own access needs and your own disability, and knowing that there are so many different types of access needs and, and disabilities out there that, you know, to lookout for those and advocate for those. The stuff that I advocate for are particularly like online access with captions and image descriptions. I don’t need those things in my life, but I know other people do and I advocate for those people. So don’t just advocate for yourself, advocate for lots of other people.

Jade Taylor:                  I wholeheartedly agree. Advocate for the community, right?

Carly Findlay:                Yup, absolutely.

Jade Taylor:                  Yeah, thank you so much Carly for talking today as part of someone who is big disability community, thank you for you and all your hard work that you do.

Carly Findlay:                Thank you.

Jade Taylor:                  We are all greatly appreciative. I can tell you that.

Carly Findlay:                Oh that’s been so lovely. It’s been really lovely to talk to you, Jade. Where can I find you?

Jade Taylor:                  Um, oh, I’m on Instagram. My Instagram handle is a little bit hard, it’s… So my Instagram handle is mapex, M-A-P-E-X, puppy, P-U-P-P-Y, and then kins. Um, I’m also Jade Taylor on Facebook. I haven’t quite worked out the Twitter yet. I have that’s… Twitter is a little bit hard for me to workout, but Instagram and Facebook I’m definitely around.

Carly Findlay:                Alright great, excellent. Thank you so much.

Jade Taylor:                  That’s okay, thank you.

Amy James:                  (singing)