A provocatively named new podcast explores the physical and social barriers that disabled people live with every day, and a world that’s not always accessible.
What’s Wrong With You? is presented by Stuff digital producer Olivia Shivas and Paralympian Rebecca Dubber, and produced by entrepreneur Grace Stratton. As disabled women, they created the podcast to challenge the prevailing narrative around how disabled people are perceived and portrayed.
“Disability is often framed up as this metaphorical mountain that we climb every day. And that’s not always the case. Just like lots of people all across Aotearoa, we live and work successfully with our disabilities, says Stratton.
“Growing up, we never saw people like us in the media. We wanted to share authentic stories about disability from our own experience and hopefully start to change the representation of disabled people in New Zealand,” says Shivas.
Over seven episodes, the podcast delves into parenting and childhood, travel, dating and sex, identity, religion, leadership and media representation. A series of guests – from models to MPs – who have a variety of experiences of disability each bring their unique perspectives to the topics.
Dubber says; “We came up with the title, What’s Wrong With You?, because when people see us it’s often what they’re thinking. One in four New Zealanders have a disability, so we hope the podcast challenges people’s perceptions and promotes deeper understanding.”
Stuff’s Podcast Director Adam Dudding says it was an absolute privilege to watch the four-and-a-half-month production take shape. “I sat in on some of the interviews, and it felt like I was eavesdropping on private conversations of a kind I’d never heard before. The finished podcast still has that ‘fly on a wall’ feeling about it: uncensored insights into what life is really like for disabled people in New Zealand.”
The podcast was produced with audience accessibility in mind and has been transcribed and captioned accordingly.
What’s Wrong With You? is funded by NZ On Air and sponsored by EveryHuman. The first two episodes are available now at stuff.co.nz/whatswrongwithyou. The remaining five episodes will be released over the coming weeks.