Whether watching at home or going in to the game, we know that the AFL Record is essential pre-game reading for footy fans.
However, what about those who are unable to read, who have a print disability? Like those who are blind or have low vision?
Thanks to a partnership between the AFL Record and Vision Australia Radio, people who are blind or have low vision are included in this important part of footy culture with a reading of the Record airing throughout the network every Thursday night during the season.
Vision Australia Radio is a radio reading service, with a network of 10 stations broadcasting to an audience of more than 700,000 people each month, with the network’s main community of interest being people who are blind or have low vision.
The vast majority of Vision Australia Radio content is produced and presented by a small army of more than 600 skilled and dedicated volunteers.
The two volunteers - and die-hard Fremantle Dockers fans - who present the 30- minute reading of the Record are Zoe and Danae, who both have several decades of radio experience between them plus an appreciation for the publication and accessibility.
“If there’s an iconic footy moment, like a player kicking their 400th goal or playing their 250th game, it’ll be in the Record along with a player profile. Our program allows listeners who are blind or have low vision to be included and share in the moment,” Zoe said.
“We generally read between four and seven articles each week and include the ladder and fixtures each week, but we also describe the image and read the headlines on the cover which highlights that week’s magazine’s particular focus.”
In between readings, Zoe and Danae lean on their extensive footy knowledge to help keep the program upbeat, just like the magazine that inspires it.
Zoe said while she loves her footy and going to the game she was always aware that it wasn’t accessible for everyone which is why she jumped at the opportunity to read the Record.
However, she said it’s Danae who has a real passion for the game, knowing all the players, team statistics and history.
“She’d know who kicked what legendary goal in 1962.”
Proud to play a part
Vision Australia Radio community engagement coordinator Jason Gipps said the station is proud to play a part in sharing the Record with more footy-loving Australians.
“The green light given by the Record’s publisher (SEN) to produce the show highlights their commitment to inclusivity and supporting our community.”
Jason also thanked Zoe and Danae for their dedication in putting the program together.
“Put simply, we wouldn’t be on air across the Vision Australia Radio network without our dedicated volunteers, the time and energy they bring is staggering and our accessible radio platforms would not be possible without them.”
How you can help
From now until June 30, Vision Australia Radio is celebrating its essential radio reading service and asking for community support.
All donations of more than $2 before June 30 are tax deductible and will help keep an essential service for the blind and low vision community on air.
You can make a one-off tax-deductible donation of $2 or more by heading to varadio.org/VARdonate. You can also set up regular monthly donations to support Vision Australia Radio.