Disability podcasts, books and Netflix shows to binge these summer holidays

Tags Conditions Autism

Posted 11 months ago by Emily Erickson

Dig into some podcasts, books, movies and series with disability representation this summer. [Source: iStock]
Dig into some podcasts, books, movies and series with disability representation this summer. [Source: iStock]

Looking for something new to watch, listen to or read these holidays?

We’ve rounded up some books, podcasts, series and movies with disability representation that will keep you entertained all summer long.

Podcasts

ListenABLE

Hosts Australian wheelchair basketballer Dylan Alcott and radio announcer Angus O’Loughlin speak to people living with disability about their lives and ask them the questions you thought were off-limits. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll learn something. 

This is a podcast for everyone - disabled or abled, and hopes to break down stigmas, change perceptions and to challenge what you think it’s like to live with disability. 

Disability Done Different

Join Disability Services Consulting’s podcast series with hosts Roland and Evie Naufal as they chat with interesting guests who have carved their own path in the disability sector - revealing battle scars, imparting wisdom and talking straight about their journeys.

This podcast aims to have the kind of conversations that come about when passionate people aren't afraid to speak their mind.

Inform

Inform Podcast is a monthly conversation for people with disabilities, featuring people with disabilities. Hosts ask for advice on all the big topics, from finding work to changing careers, relationships, moving house, dating, playing sport, finding a hobby, caring for pets, navigating the NDIS and more. 

You’ll also hear from industry experts and other organisations doing good work in the disability space in Australia.

The Invisible Podcast

Disability and aged care support network platform Mable launched  ‘The Invisible Podcast’ in late 2020. Invisible immerses the listener into a deep sensory experience of the unique circumstances of four Australians living with disability. 

The podcast aims to raise awareness of how some individuals experience their disabilities, especially invisible ones. 

You’ll experience what it’s like living with multiple sclerosis, autism, psychosis, and chronic fatigue. 

'Yarning With Our Mob'

During this podcast series, Positive Partnerships Team Leader of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Families & Community programs, Maria Watson-Trudgett of the Wiradjuri people, will be yarning with parents, carers and service providers who will be sharing their stories and challenges about autism in Indigenous communities. 

Books

Say Hello- Carly Findlay

This honest, outspoken and thought-provoking memoir by award-winning writer and appearance activist Carly Findlay will challenge your assumptions and beliefs about what it is like to have a visibly different appearance. 

Carly lives with a rare skin condition, Ichthyosis, and what she faces every day, and what she has to live with, will have you cheering for her and her courage and irrepressible spirit. This is both a moving memoir and a proud manifesto on disability and appearance diversity issues.

Carly is also the editor of the upcoming book Growing Up Disabled in Australia to be released in February 2021. It includes contributions from Dion Beasley, Astrid Edwards, Jessica Walton, Carly-Jay Metcalfe, Gayle Kennedy and El Gibbs.

Golem Girl: A Memoir

The vividly told, gloriously illustrated memoir of an artist born with disabilities who searches for freedom and connection in a society afraid of strange bodies. Born in 1958, author Riva Lehrer is one of the first children born with spina bifida to survive. 

She is an artist and writer whose work focuses on issues of physical identity and the socially challenged body.

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body

A memoir from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting-pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most.

Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling.

On The Edge Of Gone

When a comet strikes Earth in January 2035, an autistic girl, Denise, must sneak her family aboard a spaceship in this gripping young adult fiction novel. This unique take on sci-fi and apocalyptic fiction is written by acclaimed author Corinne Duyvis who lives with autism herself. 

Please Don’t Hug Me

A collection of funny (but serious) first-hand stories about what happens when you stop trying to be the person other people expect you to be and give yourself a go. Author Kay Kerr is a former journalist from Brisbane, and was writing the first draft of Please Don't Hug Me when she received her own autism-spectrum diagnosis

Netflix 

Special

Based on the 2015 book ‘I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves’, the Netflix series Special stars author Ryan O’Connell as himself.  The comedy series follows O'Connell's own challenges and triumphs as a gay man navigating the world with mild cerebral palsy. 

The Healing Powers Of Dude

This family-friendly series revolves around an 11-year-old boy navigating public school for the first time alongside his emotional support dog, Duke, who helps Noah manage his social anxiety disorder. Noah is also supported by his best friend Amara, who uses a wheelchair due to her muscular dystrophy. 

Atypical

This coming-of-age series follows Sam Gardner, a teenager on the autism spectrum who decides that he's ready to shake off his doting parents and gain some independence — especially in his love life. In the second season, five actors with autism join the cast.

Raising Dion

A widowed mom sets out to solve the mystery surrounding her young son's emerging superpowers while keeping his extraordinary gifts under wraps. Sammi Haney, a 9-year-old actress with osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), plays Esperenza who befriends Dion when he moves to a new school. 

The Politician

Follows the tale of a wealthy Santa-Barbara-based student who will do just about anything to become student-body president of his high school. It features a diverse cast of characters — including a gender non-conforming person of colour, a deaf African American actress, a trans actor, and an actor with cerebral palsy.

Wonder

After being homeschooled all his life, a boy with facial differences attends a traditional school, where he must find friends among his bullies.

STAN

Thomas Banks’ Quest For Love

Delving into fantasy, memory and theatre, Thomas Banks’ Quest for Love is a searingly honest and moving portrait of a gay man with a disability searching for love. Directed and produced by Australian filmmaker Pip Kelly over six years, the documentary follows writer Thomas Banks, who has cerebral palsy,  as he looks for love in all the wrong places, and at the same time performs in a play voicing his frustrations and the challenges he has faced in finding a partner. 

Me Before You

This touching love story tells the story of Louisa Clark who accepts a job as the caretaker for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin). Will is a young wealthy corporate raider who became wheelchair bound after a speeding motorcycle crushed his spine, paralyzing him from the neck down.

Breathe

Based on the true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up after Robin contracts polio, that leaves him paralysed from the waist down. 

Binge

The A Word

The story of the Hughes family, who work, love and fight like every other family. However, when their youngest son is diagnosed with autism, they don't feel like every other family anymore.

Temple Grandin

This biopic tells the story of Temple Grandin, who is autistic, who has become a leading activist in both autism advocacy and the humane treatment of animals.

Warm Springs

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who has polio and is paralysed below the waist, opens a health spa in Georgia.

Apple TV

See

See takes place in the distant future, after a deadly virus decimated humankind. Those who survived emerged blind. However, a set of twins are born centuries later with the mythic ability to see. Apple enlisted the help of blind and low vision consultants during production to ensure the genuine portrayal of people who are blind and low vision.

Little Voice

The show stars Brittany O’Grady as Bess, a talented singer-songwriter whose reticence to perform publicly keeps her tending bar and walking dogs as she struggles with fully realising her dream. Bess has an autistic brother, Louie, played by actor Kevin Valdez, who himself lives with autism. 

Do you have any to add? Share your favourite disability shows, podcasts or books in the comments below!