Meet our JK Fellow Fiona Murphy

Orange tile with text “Fiona Murphy, Writer, 2024 Fellow” alongside a headshot of a white woman with short dark hair. She is wearing glasses and is smiling.

Introducing Fiona Murphy

I’m an award-winning writer and editor based in the Blue Mountains, NSW. My writing about disability and accessibility has appeared in The Guardian, ABC, The Saturday Paper, Griffith Review, The Big Issue, among many other outlets. I’m a casual lecturer for RMIT University’s Professional Writing and Editing Program.

In 2021, my memoir about deafness (The Shape of Sound) was released in Australia, New Zealand, UK and North America. It has received praise from Helen Garner, Sarah Krasnostein and Bri Lee. It was highly commended in the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

What was your motivation to apply?

I want the world to be more accessible.

I hid my deafness for over twenty years. I was terrified to be excluded from interactions and rejected from jobs. Having a communication disability can be a stigmatising experience.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is clear policy, guidance and recommendations for physical accessibility. Most cities and towns have endless examples of physical access — from ramps to rails, curb cuts to arm rests. But there is a lack of information about communication accessibility.

This is why I’ve created the Accessible Communications Collective. Having an accessible brand, content and sales strategy is essential to attract and retain customers. It creates a feeling of ease and inclusivity. It is also just good business. Accessible communication is good communication. It is clear and impactful.

What are you hoping to achieve?

Having access to community and accountability has given me tremendous confidence. Since starting the fellowship I have launched an email newsletter. It has quickly gained subscribers from across Australia and around the world. I have been genuinely blown away by how many people email me after each newsletter, either to say thanks or to continue the conversation. It is heartwarming how enthusiastic people are about learning about communication accessibility.

I have so much to discover about start-ups, but the fellowship is fast tracking my learning curve. It is a thrilling journey to be on.

What excites you about Disability Tech?

Digital accessibility.

What does the Remarkable community mean to you?

The enthusiasm and kindness is unparalleled. Everyone has been so generous with their expertise. It is like having dozens of cheerleaders on your side.

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