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Connect With…CHYFM 104.1

Meet CHYFM – one of our ConnectABLE community partners. CHYFM was the first youth run radio station in Australia and is the only regional youth broadcast training station. We talk to Station Manager Becky and broadcasters Benny G and The Fauch about what makes CHYFM inclusive and how they might become the first vision impaired accessible broadcast training facility in the country.

Why did CHYFM partner with CCO on the ConnectABLE project?

Becky: We include a lot of people here – vision impaired, people on the Autism Spectrum, people with physical disabilities and people who experience mental health issues. We have the whole spectrum. Through this project with CCO we hope to celebrate diversity and share what we do with other groups who might want to join our story. We can help each other along the way by sharing resources and information.

What do you think social inclusion means for community clubs and groups?

Becky: For us it means being able to have open training practices for everyone. It means being adaptable, but still having one set of rules for everyone. It’s about treating the person, not the disability. It’s about finding different ways to do things but treating everyone equally – its not about special treatment.

Benny G: Everybody gets a go. We’re all human beings. Needing some kind of support to be involved doesn’t matter. It’s a non issue.

The Fauch: Each person is unique in their own way.

Tell us about something interesting CHYFM is doing at the moment?

Becky: We have two students who have a vision impairment so we are currently exploring how we can make our facilities fully accessible so they can run their own shows. Vision Australia helped us find some software that does half the job, but now we need to look at purchasing braille equipment. We don’t have funding for these kinds of modifications so we have contacted Triple J and they are interested in supporting our fundraising campaign for this equipment.

That is a huge and very exciting initiative! What will this mean for the station?

Becky: We will potentially be the first youth training station to have fully accessible facilities for students with a vision impairment. We might have people travel from all over to train with us and we might even be able to link in with their high school curriculum. It means we’ll be able to support people with a vision impairment to get that degree or get into that course they want to do and start a career in radio.

What is it about CHYFM that makes everyone feel welcome and valued for their contribution?

Benny G: Mostly the people. My immediate impression of Becky was that she is bright, cheerful and incredibly supportive and helpful.

The Fauch: The trainer really believes in you. He pushes you out of your comfort zone but when you’re ready.

How has being involved in CHYFM impacted your life?

Benny G: I’ve made so many friends through the station. We try to get to know new members and help them.

The Fauch: When I started here at CHYFM public speaking was an issue for me. I later became Vice Captain of my school and had to make speeches to the school and families etc. I did it without a problem. It helped build my self confidence.

Benny G: As cliched as that sounds it does boost your confidence.

What would you say to anyone in the community who was thinking about getting involved in community radio, more specifically CHYFM?

Benny G: Come down and say “Hi”. We don’t care what your abilities are – you’re always welcome.

The Fauch: Come on down and have a go.

Bens & Becky 4 HERO web friendly                          Bens & Becky 2 action shot web friendly

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