Launching today, Pod-Ability, the new podcast from Variety, examines topics such as: ‘Choosing the best education option for your disabled child’, ‘The mental health impact of caring for a disabled child’, ‘How to ensure that disabled children have the best possible access to retail and fun activities’, and ‘Parenting children with visible and invisible disabilities’.

The ground-breaking series sees disability rights campaigner and parent of a disabled child himself, Dan White, joined by a whole host of special guests including;

  • Adam Pearson, actor (best-known for appearing in the 2013 film Under the Skin alongside Scarlet Johansson), TV presenter and disability rights campaigner.
  • Natasha Devon, MBE – children’s mental health campaigner, former Government Children’s Mental Health Tsar and author
  • Samantha Renke, actress, public speaker and accessible shopping campaigner
  • Yvonne Newbold, author of the book ‘The Special Parents Handbook’ and parent of a disabled child.

Pod-Ability offers in-depth discussion, practical signposting and suggestions to address the complex challenges faced by parents and families of disabled children.

The series launches with a moving episode, featuring Adam Pearson, focused on parenting children with visible and invisible disabilities. About Pod-Ability, Adam comments: “Discussing disability – particularly at the moment, is to be able to cut through all the ill-informed rhetoric currently being used. The idea that being disabled is a ‘free car, worry-free, benefit-laden’ lifestyle is far from true. Hopefully, thanks to these original, informative and groundbreaking podcasts, we can open dialogue and create some empathy here. I’m proud to be part of it.”

In the episode discussing the mental health impact of caring for a disabled child, Natasha Devon MBE comments: “We don’t have as many words as other languages do to describe how we feel in our state of mental well-being. So if you can express yourself in something that kind of circumnavigates the challenges of language, if you can do something physical to get the feeling out there, even if you just punch a pillow, sometimes that’s enough to get your anger and frustration out. If you’re able to go for a walk, go get some fresh air. Painting and drawing, anything creative can be a really good way to express any emotion.”

Jo Carter, CEO of Variety, the Children’s Charity said: “Variety has been proudly supporting disabled children and their families for over 70 years. We really hope this podcast will prove to be an invaluable tool, offering tangible help to those families who need it most.”

Dan White, Pod-Ability host and disability rights campaigner adds: “The parents and families of a disabled child crave information that is accessible, practical and useful, but are often time-poor. Developing a podcast series that they can download and listen to any time will, we hope, go some of the way to meeting their need to stay informed, along with helping them to feel more connected to a community that cares and is on their side.”