Redcliffe-Based ROPE TV Uplifts People With Disabilities

ROPE TV, a community television show produced in Redcliffe by disability service provider ROPE, is giving people with disabilities the chance to work in media and a platform to share their stories.

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ROPE TV, filmed and produced by video production company Trending Media Australia, releases new episodes on the first Monday of each month.

The participant-led show is the first of its kind in Australia. Regular hosts Ashley Pickering and Cale Buzza interview guests on topics of interest to the local community. 

They regularly feature inspiring organisations that enrich people’s lives through music.

One such group is Team Musicare, which provides musical programs for people with disabilities. Their efforts highlight how music can uplift and empower.

The TV show also showcases up-and-coming talents. In one episode, they presented 12-year-old electric guitarist JayBird, who lives with ADHD and autism. Her impressive skills and passion for music defied her young age and challenges.

Another standout feature was 15-year-old singer and saxophonist LeviX from Brisbane. His versatility across genres like jazz, rock and pop was showcased. Earlier this year, LeviX wowed judges on The Voice Australia 2023, with Jason Derulo and Rita Ora turning their chairs for him.

They also featured young rapper MC Wheels, who has a rare condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress Type 1 (SMARD 1) that severely limits his mobility. In an interview with hosts Ashley and Cale, MC Wheels shared his challenging life story and undefeated spirit.

From time to time, ROPE TV also covers lighthearted stories. One episode followed roving reporter Brandon Johns as he swam with seals and visited the turtle day spa at Sea Life Sunshine Coast.

Photo credit: ROPE TV/Facebook

Some of their recent interviewees include Broncos legend Petero Civoniceva, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Minister Bill Shorten, local MP Yvette D’Ath, and ABC radio host Loretta Ryan who shared what it’s like behind the scenes.

Ashley interviewing NDIS Minister Bill Shorten (Photo credit: ROPE TV/Facebook)

According to ROPE CEO Wes Bleakley, the show provides unique opportunities for people with disabilities that are not offered anywhere else in the disability sector in Australia. He explains that the show is not just about disability – it can tackle any topic relevant to the local community.

Co-host Cale Buzza says his experience on ROPE TV has allowed him to meet high-profile people and see the show evolve over time. He notes that as the years go by, the show continues to become more and more interesting.

ROPE TV recently produced a documentary about the program called AbiliTV and entered it into the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival, which challenges filmmakers to showcase the abilities of people with disabilities.

Director Jesse Ellis says creating the AbiliTV documentary was a chance to highlight the impact of the TV show. Cale’s mother was even interviewed for the documentary, explaining Cale’s disability and his morning routine.

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The Focus on Ability winners will be announced on 5 November 2023. But whatever the outcome, ROPE TV is already achieving its goal of uplifting voices, showcasing ability, and bringing the community together.

Published 29-September-2023