A person with bright red hair taps on their laptop computer from their wheelchair. Next to them, a blond women in a black and white dress write long-hand in a note book

Writeability Goes Local and Online is program for writers with disability, delivered in partnership with Local Councils.

About Writeability
Writers Victoria’s award winning Writeability program supports writers with disability wanting to develop their skills and writing careers. Writeability aims to remove some of the barriers that prevent people with disability from connecting with writing and publishing. It provides tools and information to help people with disability tell their own stories in their own way.

About Writeability Goes Local and Online
Writeability Goes Local and Online is available for local libraries and shire and city councils across Victoria. The 10-month program starts with an invitation to people with disability, as well as staff from local government, libraries, arts and disability organisations to attend an Own Voices Forum. Meanwhile, Writers Victoria recruits a local writers’ group mentor who is appointed and trained prior to the Own Voices Forum, which they attend. This program began in Central Highlands in 2017 and has already benefited the communities of Central Highlands, Loddon, Gippsland, Wimmera South West, Goulburn, Mallee, Geelong and Mornington Peninsula.

Own Voices Forum
The Own Voices Forum: Why Writing Matters explores how writing and storytelling can help develop ways of thinking about the self, disability and community. It introduces participants to the social model of disability, breaks down stereotypes, and outlines best practice language when talking about disability. The forum is facilitated by two experienced trainers, themselves people with disability, and includes writing workshops. Catering is provided.

Writing Group
Following the forum, local and aspiring writers with disability are invited to register for a local writers’ group¸ which meets for two hours every month for eight months, with the support of the local mentor who leads them in writing activities designed to strengthen their writing and confidence. The writers’ group program includes a face-to-face masterclass and a webinar with published authors (and excellent teachers) chosen from Writers Victoria’s network. Mentors may encourage participants to submit their work for publication by Writers Victoria or other organisations in the course of the program. The final writers’ group session may include public readings and/or some other form of celebration.

Costs
The cost of the program is $13,200. Assuming 15 writers with disability participate in the program, the cost per person is $880 for the 10-month program. This fee includes all facilitator, tutor and staff costs, materials, marketing, catering and admin costs. It includes $400 for access, noting that this may vary according to the access needs of the local writers’ group (e.g. Auslan interpreters will incur a higher cost). It also includes funds for facilitator/tutor travel to venues within greater metropolitan Melbourne. Travel outside of Melbourne will incur a higher cost.

The budget assumes Council will provide venues free of charge for the forum and the eight (8), monthly writers’ group meetings (such as a room in the local library).

Writeability is a modular program, so it is possible to offer a different program crafted for the needs and budgets of different communities.

For more information, or to discuss the way the program can be tailored to your specifications, please contact:

Jessica Obersby
Writeability Program Manager
Writers Victoria
Email: writeability@writersvictoria.org.au
Days of work: Tuesday and Friday

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