Arts and Culture

‘That Autistic Guy’ calls out Ableism in the commercial radio sector

Posted on: Sun 5 Dec 2021

Attempting to have your voice heard or heeded is a no mean feat when trying to communicate, converse or socialise with other people, particularly if you identify as neurodivergent. But if you work in the commercial radio sector, while dealing with endless ableist vitriol and unconscious bias from neurotypical individuals, chances are narrow-mindedness infringes open-mindedness if they can’t work alongside a colleague that identifies as being openly autistic.

In a long illustrious and bountiful career spanning over 25 years, Orion Kelly isn’t one to undersell his litany of professional credentials as an autistic advocate, consultant, keynote speaker, actor, writer, host, YouTuber, podcaster and radio broadcaster, where he is currently working at 531 3GG AM in Gippsland, Victoria. Widely known on the interwebs as ‘That Autistic Guy’, Kelly has cultivated a educative/analytic philosophy in getting able-bodied and neurotypical people to understand and accept autistic people as they are, through open, honest and inquisitive conversations.

As part of his DisINVISIBILITY segment, featured in conjunction with International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), Packed Lunch‘s Jarad McLoughlin spoke with Kelly about why he admonishes those in the commercial radio sector that don’t directly address incidents of ableism in the workplace, his displeasure for ‘small talk’ and also shares a few tips and advice for other disabled and neurodivergent people looking to forge a career for themselves on the airwaves.

Produced by Jarad McLoughlin

Photo credit: Orion Kelly

Jarad McLoughlin

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