The Language of Disability – A multicultural interactive forum

About this event

Language is dynamic and nuanced. It constantly evolves to reflect our social norms, perceptions and culture. It can be difficult to get it right, especially when it comes to producing resources intended for multicultural audiences. Writing about disability requires sensitivity and translators have been grappling with it for a long time.

How do we navigate disability language clearly, safely, and respectfully?

The language we use to describe, portray and address people with disability matters and is one of the key elements of effective communication.

In this panel discussion, you will hear from language and communication experts exploring:

  • History of the language of disability
  • The words we choose – what to say and what not to say
  • Translation and cross cultural challenges

Our panellists

  • Karen Hedley

Karen has a desire for ensuring everyone understands communication and can be included in the community. She founded Next Level Inclusion and The Easy Read Toolbox for this reason, after three decades living and working with people with disabilities. Next Level Inclusion is providing communication and accessibility advice to the recently formed National Disability Research Partnership. As a woman living with a disability, she was re-elected as director on the board of Women with Disabilities ACT, and previously worked with the Disability Royal Commission on accessibility and inclusion, including easy read communication.

  • Hannah Diviney

Hannah is a disability & women’s rights advocate. She’s also the Editor-In-Chief of Missing Perspectives, which amplifies the voices of young women from around the world. You may also know her from the global campaign asking Disney to be bolder and create Disabled Disney Princess. Last year, Hannah was a finalist for both the Australian Women’s Weekly Women of The Future Awards and the 2022 Young Australian of The Year Awards.

  • Tatum Spicer

Tatum has a master’s degree in Translation & Interpreting from RMIT University. She is very fond of languages and cultures being fluent in French, Hebrew, and basic Spanish. She is also currently learning German and Australian sign language (AUSLAN). Prior to working for Polaron Language Services, she was a Fundraising Coordinator at the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and is still a passionate ambassador of this cause.

Our moderator

Eva Hussain

Eva is a recognised leader in the fields of translations and European citizenship. She regularly presents and lectures at conferences, universities and training institutions on the topics of language services, cultural awareness and history. She is the founder of Polaron and plays an active role in the global development of the company. Some of her previous roles include management and operations of a telecommunication provider and administration of a local government’s aged and disability department.


Thursday 24th February 2022

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM AEDT.


1:00 to 1:05 pm – Introduction

1:05 to 1:40 pm – Panel discussion with guest speakers

1:40 to 1:50 pm – Questions for panellists from attendees

1:50 to 2:00 pm – Conclusion



1:00 pm - 2:00 pm