What's Wrong With You?

01 Sep, 2021
What's Wrong With You
What's Wrong With You presenters and AUT alumni Rebecca Dubber and Olivia Shivas.

What's Wrong With You? is a new podcast that provides an authentic insight on life as a disabled person.

Presented by AUT alumni Stuff digital producer Olivia Shivas and Paralympian Rebecca Dubber, and produced by entrepreneur and AUT Law student Grace Stratton. As disabled women, they created the podcast to challenge the prevailing narrative around how disabled people are perceived and portrayed.

We spoke to Olivia Shivas about the new podcast and her experience studying at AUT.

How did this podcast idea come about / what inspired it?

"What's Wrong With You? is a seven-part podcast series hosted by myself and my friend Rebecca Dubber, and Grace Stratton was a producer. We all use wheelchairs and we had an idea that it would be fun to record some of the conversations we have with our other disabled friends about some of the outrageous questions nondisabled people ask us all the time - hence the title What's Wrong With You? We were also tired of the way disabled people are often negatively portrayed in mainstream narratives so we wanted to share some light, funny stories but also talk about confronting topics like discrimination."

What kind of topics are you covering – are there any difficult conversations or interesting guest speakers you can share with us?

"We talk about growing up with a disability, sex and dating, what it's like travelling as wheelchair-users, and how we respond when random strangers ask us: Can I pray for you? And many more interesting topics that I think will surprise nondisabled people.

"The key takeout I'd like people to get from listening to the podcast is that disabled people can live full, successful lives with their disabilities, but there's often physical barriers and prejudices based on negative stereotypes that prevent our inclusion."

Can you tell us what and when you studied at AUT – what was your experience like?

"Rebecca, Grace and I are all AUT students/alumni. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Studies majoring journalism in 2014. I did my post-grad honours in 2015, including a semester abroad doing foreign reporting at the University of Helsinki in Finland."

What is your current job and what skills have you applied from your degree?

"I work as a digital producer at Stuff. I write the headlines, sub-edit copy from our content partners, run live blogs and cover press conferences. I sometimes manage the homepage too, so this involves ranking stories and making sure we are speedy and accurate when it comes to breaking news. My role is to keep the Stuff website fresh and interesting for our audience."

Any advice for future students wanting to create conversation around important issues and create change in communities?

"Involve the people that are most negatively impacted by the issue you are passionate about. I knew from the very start of this project, I wanted to involve as many people as possible from the disability community. I think the portrayal of disabled people in our podcast is more authentic and powerful because they are told through the lens of a disabled person."

Listen to the podcast trailer below:

Find out more about the podcast and listen to the episodes

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