Ellen Keane chats about her new podcast The D Word
"I wanted to let people be confused about it."
Taking a leap out of the pool for a change, Paralympic swimmer Ellen Keane is taking to a microphone as she launches her brand new podcast The D Word.
Ellen sat down to chat with Her about her newest venture, giving us the lowdown on what we can expect from the six episodes she has recorded and some insight into the depth she goes into on the show.
Launching today, October 27th, Ellen's podcast centres around her disability but isn't solely about that. With laughs and banter thrown into the mix, she aimed for something that was lighthearted and fun while also being extremely educational when it came to various different disabilities.
"It's been something I wanted to do for a very long time but it just wasn't the right time to do it, I didn't have the right support and now that Allianz are on board with me, I'm able to produce it to high quality, I'm able to get imagery, so now just seems like the right time to do it," Ellen told Her.
"It's called The D Word, it's about disability. I guess the name in itself, your imagination can wander with it a little bit and that's what I wanted, I wanted it to be a bit like 'oh, what is this?' because the word disability, people are reluctant to use, they're afraid of it, it's seen as a dirty word so I didn't want it in the title itself but I did in a way. I wanted to let people be confused about it so that they click on it."
There are currently six episodes set to air, with each episode having a different guest with a different type of disability. First up is Ellen's old teammate and good friend James Scully whose disability affects his arms and his legs.
"Him and I have such good banter, the vibe of the podcast itself is a bit humourous but also educational. Each guest will have a different disability so hidden disability, people born with a disability, people who have become disabled later in life and then the final episode is with my parents and with them it's more about what it was like having me as a kid, they didn't know I was going to be disabled. My parents have stories that I can't even remember and I've never had the conversation with them about when I was insecure about my arm, I've never asked them about that," she added.
"Because of sport I've been given a platform, it's always my voice being heard so now it's a chance for me to give back and get other voices heard. I don't know what it's like to be in a wheelchair, I was born with my disability so I don't know what it's like to become disabled so it's just to have other people's stories told.
"I want to normalise things, there are so many things that people live with, with disabilities that other people don't realise, getting access to things or what it's like getting diagnosed, it's the path people have to go on and the hoops people have to jump through that people don't realise. If more people are educated on it then it might make it easier and things might change a bit as well.
"Weird things happen when two disabled people come together and I think that's what makes this podcast different."
When it comes to the episodes with her parents, Ellen says the room was a safe space and they could ask anything they wanted to each other - a lot that has never been discussed. Not telling them what they were recording, it only made the answers more authentic.
Ellen's podcast The D Word is available now.