POD Access: Empowerment Through Podcasting
Cheryl Green, Thomas Reid
Date: April 27, 2023
There are currently around 3 million active podcasts. Disability culture, arts, and politics, and health are becoming more common in mainstream media, but “disability, disabilities,” or “blind” in Apple Podcasts, for example, gives less than 60 results combined. Technology now makes podcasting from home more achievable, but the tools aren’t all accessible to aspiring and active podcasters. Barriers to entry include finding and learning accessible technology and platforms, providing accessibility for shows, and getting funding. There are a number of engaging podcasts from Deaf and disabled creators that broaden and deepen conversations but continue to face challenges growing audiences or sustaining the effort to create and promote their work. POD Access, funded by Alice Wong’s Disability Visibility Project and run by Thomas Reid and Cheryl Green, will launch in 2023, with a database of Deaf and disabled-made podcasts to help podcasters find audiences and each other. Content creators’ multifaceted identities will be foregrounded, and accessibility for each show will be front and center. POD Access will become a community-building platform to promote skill-sharing and cross-promotion and a hub for accessible learning resources. POD Access is not asking disabled people to compete in the non-disabled world and produce work at any cost to please non-disabled audiences. We celebrate interdependence and building sustainable practices so that we can take advantage of the potential of podcasting to make sure stories, experiences, and perspectives of empowered Deaf and disabled community reach beyond even where we imagine they could go.
About the Speakers
Cheryl Green, MFA, MS is an independent Access Artist with a focus as a captioner, audio describer, and multi-media digital artist. She’s a 2017 AIR New Voices Scholar, 2020 DOC NYC Documentary New Leader, Co-op Member and former Digital Operations Lead at New Day Films, a member of the Social Audio Description collective, co-host of Blind-Centered Audio Description Chat, and co-creator of POD Access with Thomas Reid and the Disability Visibility Project. She brings her lived experience with multiple invisible disabilities to creating media that explores politically and culturally engaged stories from cross-disability communities with creative accessibility at the heart of all of her work. Her audio and written blog, transcribed podcast, Pigeonhole, and documentary films are available on the Who Am I to Stop It website.
Thomas Reid is an audio producer, voice talent, audio description narrator and advocate. He’s the founder, host and producer of Reid My Mind Radio, a podcast where he pairs narrative storytelling, music and sound design to introduce listeners to compelling people impacted by all degrees of blindness and disability. Occasionally, he shares stories from his own experience as a man adjusting to becoming Blind as an adult. Over the years of producing the podcast, Thomas has developed a valued intersectional perspective on topics including Accessibility, audio description, media representation and more.