Spotlight On: Vision Australia Radio

Spotlight On: Vision Australia Radio

By Rhys Evans

After celebrating 100 years of Radio, Telum Media spoke with Vision Australia's Radio and Audio Manager, Conrad Browne, about the next 100 years of radio and how the organisation likes to collaborate with PR professionals.

How has Vision Australia Radio celebrated World Radio Day in 2024? 
Vision Australia Radio is a proud supporter of World Radio Day, particularly its messaging around inclusion and accessibility. For 2024, we broadcasted a special on Vision Australia Radio's travel programme, "Sites, Sounds and Songs'", in celebration of World Radio Day. We took a trip to Bhutan to interview a community radio staffer, Jambay Tshering.

The special presentation started at UNESCO's headquarters in the 2024 Paralympic city, Paris. We then caught up with a blind DJ broadcaster in Johannesburg, and visited some budding rural student radio producers in Bolivia. We also highlighted other Vision Australia Radio programmes and related content on social media in the lead up to and on the day via Facebook and Instagram

What innovative strategies or technologies is Vision Australia Radio exploring to enhance the listening experience for individuals with vision impairment and disabilities?
Providing access to information and content for people who are blind, have low vision, or a print disability is at the heart of everything we do. From our traditional AM / FM services through to DAB+, streaming, and podcasting, our priority is to ensure our content is available for people on the platform they use.

We feature on community radio apps, allowing for our content to be heard and accessed nationally and providing additional connectivity for users at that level. We also continue to work with teams within our organisation to provide accessible solutions for people with a disability that primarily look at new technology and adapt current technology to provide better access for listeners where possible too.

Considering the changing media landscape and evolving audience preferences, what steps is Vision Australia Radio taking to ensure its impact in the next 100 years?
While our services are known for providing reading content from newspapers, magazines, and online sources, we are also aware that technology now allows for much of this content to be accessed in different ways and on demand. While we will continue to provide access to information, particularly local news, through reading programmes, we are continuing to develop more specialist content that is produced by and for people who are blind, have low vision, or have a print disability. By supporting these content makers, we provide a channel for voices and stories that are rarely covered in mainstream media and ensure that people within the disability community also have a dedicated community media platform that they can trust.

What is Vision Australia Radio's approach to collaborating with PR professionals? 
Vision Australia Radio is always keen to hear about activities, events, and news from PR professionals and regularly explores opportunities to include these on-air, when relevant and appropriate for our audience. Our main advice is to ensure that the content is appropriate for people with a disability and that it has clear points around accessibility and inclusion, particularly for content that is focused on visuals. For instance, is it audio described or does it have other means of accessing it for people who are blind or with low vision.

Obviously, we filter requests that come through, but hearing from people in the PR space who understand our service and audience goes a long way. We also encourage you to speak with your clients about ensuring whatever it is they are promoting is accessible where possible and putting them in touch with organisations like Vision Australia to work on ways to do that collaboratively.

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