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How Podcasting With a Disability Has Helped Me

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A painter has their canvas; a writer has their pencils, pad or if you are tech savvy, your laptop computer. I could use a digital drawing program, or I could type on my computer to get my message across. But there’s a way to do all of that in a completely different medium: podcasting.

I can illustrate the story I want to tell and set the pacing of it. I can plot out the structure and the guests I have on the show. With all that being said, here’s how the medium of podcasting has helped a geeky, pop culture obsessed 23-year-old man like myself.

Many people with CP such as myself have our quirks. We get excited and our voices go up to a frequency only dogs can hear. We hear a sudden noise and we jump out of our skin. You would think those would be signs not to produce a podcast, right? Wrong! It has helped me in more ways than you can imagine.

It has helped my confidence and social skills immensely. I will cold call (or in some cases “cold e-mail”) agents, managers or even the person themselves to get an interview. I’ve been doing courageous things my whole life. Why not add obtaining interviews to that already-long list?

I used to hate my high-pitched breathy voice which is caused by my CP, and thought it was a distraction from the content I was trying to deliver. Much to my surprise, people like it and some even find it cute.

The final benefit is a rather interesting one: improved fine-motor skills. Editing audio is a challenge; clicking, dragging and manipulating a waveform requires coordination. When you want to be precise, you sometimes have to put your time into editing one tiny piece of audio. Taking my time ensures a quality product.

I’ve been practicing the art of radio since diapers — no exaggeration. Sports wasn’t really my thing in the early years, but I loved hearing the latest Britney Spears song on the radio and seeing the number one video on TRL. The lack of physical activity helped expose me to music and pop culture that most folks don’t fully experience until well into their teenage years. It helped me create The DJ Bob Show based on my love of music and ’90s and early 2000s pop culture. Podcasting gives me the chance to express myself. If it’s your thing, let your disability be in the background and press record.

Originally published: October 23, 2018
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