I want to chat about something I saw in the dis-able bodied world that is truly inspiring. First, a personal story.
I will fail the walking part if the police ever pull me over during a RIDE inspection. The brain injury I had several years ago left me with balance issues. Even when I am sober, I can no longer walk straight. Fortunately, I do not drink and drive, so I will never have to prove my inabilities to a kind officer. And this is the first, last and only time I will ever mention my balance issues to you.
I want to tell you about a recent humbling experience.
In podcasting, there is a big production piece of which listeners are rarely aware. There are microphones and at least two, often three different software programs to set up, test, and run simultaneously to get a good recording. All of which requires umpteen keystrokes.
And you might notice several podcasters run a video feed as well. For example, the simple zoom call runs through a streaming program to become a YouTube video, which means more software to master and coordinate.
Most of the hosts I have dealt with do not have a massive budget. As a result, their production team is either – the person in the mirror OR an outsourced vendor who will handle the basic editing for a couple of hundred dollars.
It’s always fascinating watching the host try to have an easy-going conversation and knowing full well they are simultaneously reading their format script, taking notes, hitting switches, playing with controls, and flying across the various software.
Successful coordination requires dexterity of fingers below the visible screen, a keen ear tuned to the speaker’s points, and a well-trained eye for picking up on both computer and human cues.
So, against the background I just described, imagine being a blind host! Yes, I said BLIND. Remember how we used to say they were not able-bodied?
Honestly, I never once thought about whether a blind person could attempt a podcast. And to see one in action was beyond inspiring.
It was humbling
The host I speak of is Max Ivey – who lost his sight when he was twelve years old. He comes from a long line of carnival owners. And these days, he stays in touch with carnival owners worldwide by helping them sell their amusement equipment.
Years ago, he set up the Blind Blogger website and a few years past, launched his podcast. In the process, he has become quite the spitfire inspirer for both the abled and dis-abled communities. Clearly an “able kind of guy.”
I have no idea if he memorized (before our interview) everything he spoke of or if he was reading a script. It doesn’t matter. Imagine reading a script, the keys, and trying to remember all the keystrokes with one’s fingertips. (Not once during our 90 minutes together did I hear voice technology guiding him.)
After the recording, he freely admitted that technology had come so far that what he is doing today could never have been attempted 15 years ago.
The best reason for all the technological advances made over the last few decades is this. Finally, FINALLY, a blind person (as well as so many other types of dis-abled) has the same status and opportunity to make a difference in the world as a sighted person.
Max Ivey records both video and audio. He has a Youtube channel as well as an Audible channel. He does all the post-production work himself. (Besides the usual stuff of sourcing the guest, vetting the guest, chatting with the guest, and then post-marketing the interview.)
Best of all, he is over the moon, feeling valuable and powerful and inspiring to both able-bodied and dis-abled.
His podcast is called What’s Your Excuse?
Because he believes NONE of us have any reason to make excuses. Minor issues, first-world issues, significant complaints. When any of us are feeling lost and low, think of Max. If he can do it, we can too!