This podcast series connects and inspires future business owners through the lived experience and success of other business owners who are blind or vision impaired. Each episode features guest speakers who share their journey and insights about the business world.
Episode 1: Janelle Colquhoun
featuring the remarkable story of Janelle Colquhoun, former international opera singer and owner of Salubrious Productions. Janelle gives a frank and honest account of going blind at the height of her career and the struggle to find ongoing work, before establishing an entertainment and production agency specialising in professional artists with disability.
Episode 2: Duncan Steward
Featuring Duncan Steward, Founder and Owner – Platinum Cre8ive. Hear about Duncan’s entrepreneurial journey to success as manager of several very successful music artists.
Episode 3: Amanda Heal
Featuring Amanda Heal, keynote speaker and author. Hear about Amanda’s journey to finding her purpose, and how she manages her busy speaking schedule. She discusses some of the pitfalls to running her own business as a Blind person and how these can be managed.
Episode 4: Craig Shanahan
Featuring Craig Shanahan, chef, owner and manager of the Blind Chef Cafe in New South Wales. Craig describes his working life and how he has used skills acquired as a result of his recently gained vision impairment to start a thriving business. He describes the measures he has taken to ensure every customer enjoys visiting his cafe and the work he has done to ensure accessibility for all.
Episode 5: John Simpson
Information Alternatives has been supporting the information needs of people who are blind or vision impaired for close to forty years. John Simpson explains the genesis of the business, some of the pitfalls he and his partners have experienced as blind or vision impaired business owners, and how the business has changed over the years to keep abreast of emerging technologies and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse community of interest.
Episode 6: Elise Lonsdale
Featuring Elise Lonsdale from DATA Australasia. Elise has a significant work history in web development and assistive technology training. She has been running her own business for several years now, teaching people who are blind or vision impaired how to use technology that enriches their communication and contributes significantly to their lives.
Episode 7: Duncan Meerding
Featuring Duncan Meerding, a furniture and lighting designer living in Tasmania. Duncan discusses his significant and rapid vision loss, and how it affected his choices and led him to running his own business. Find out about some of the adaptations Duncan has made to his workshop and how he has worked with other disabled woodworkers to teach and mentor them. If you’d like to know more about Duncan’s business, check out his website.
Episode 8:Steve Sparrow
Featuring Steve Sparrow, a Brisbane local who has run his own recording business for over twenty years. He regularly plays in entertainment venues around Brisbane and beyond, and has released several albums. Steve describes his thoughts as he started out in the industry, some of the adaptations he has made to equipment, and some of the barriers he found when starting his own business as a blind person. You can find Steve’s music on streaming platforms. You can visit his website for more information.
Episode 9: Joanne Mosen
Featuring Joanne Mosen who is an international development consultant specialising in disability inclusion; where she takes a rights-based approach to education for people with disability in the Asia-Pacific region. Joanne discusses getting the business started and some of the advantages having lived experience of disability brings to her work – and some of the potential barriers.
Episode 10: Leah Sing
Featuring Leah Sing who grew up in Queensland and studied as a massage therapist. Leah discusses her desire to work for herself and some of the pitfalls she encountered along the way.
Episode 11: Matt O’Kane
Featuring Matt O’Kane who runs a Sydney-based company – Notion Digital Forensics. Matt describes his employment journey and the type of work his company undertakes. He also outlines some of the benefits his vision impairment brings to his work and how he has overcome any issues he has faced along the way. If you’d like to know more about Matt’s company, check out his website.
Episode 12: Ross McGregor
Featuring well-respected recording engineer and studio owner, Ross McGregor. Ross successfully ran his recording studio in Sydney for nearly 30 years, and still continues his involvement with recording and technology. Ross discusses his entry into the field from starting out doing gigs in Sydney. We hear about some of the changes he has seen in the industry and how he successfully met the challenges of the change from analogue to digital recording, as a blind person.