As well as being a published writer, Gaele is recognised nationally and internationally as a disability arts leader. She convened and curated the Accessible Arts NSW Scribbler forum for writers with disability and recently produced Fools’ Gold, a series of poetry workshops, performances and critical dialogues on art, mental health and well-being. For this Sydney-based project, she brought together writers who experience mental distress from across Australia and from the UK. Gaele will use the experience she has gained from working within a wide network of Deaf and disabled writers, her knowledge of the Social Model of Disability and her writing skills to participate in Writing Me as a peer and role model for South Australian writers. Importantly, she will lead the program with a fresh perspective and invaluable feedback.
Writing Me will focus on creating new work that reflects disabled writers’ embodiment of the world. Gaele will encourage writing that goes against the grain of medicalised, normalised, inspirational tropes so commonly associated with disabled characters and explore instances where disability may contribute to writing style. She will encourage participants to write from their unique perspectives and create empowering and provocative stories.
Writing Me is a professional development program that asks writers to take their place in the world; to promote and celebrate themselves and other Deaf and disabled writers.
‘Identifying politically and culturally as a disabled person was essential, because it changes you. It affects everything about how you perceive the world.’ Kaite O’Reilly
Writing Me aims to raise the profile of participating disabled writers. Each writer will be given a web page on the Writing Me section of the Access2Arts website. They will be provided the opportunity to work with a graphic artist, visual artist or sound artist to present their new work on their page. Additionally, each writer will be profiled on the Access2Arts website’s Artist Profiles page. The Writing Me online publication space featuring the writers’ new work will be launched in March 2018.