Spotify partners with Inevitable Foundation for £8,000 grant empowering disabled podcasters

Program includes financial support plus networking and mentorship opportunities

Streaming platform Spotify has launched a new program in partnership with non-profit organisation Inevitable Foundation aimed at empowering podcasters with disabilities. 

The program, titled ‘Elevate for Podcasters’, is open to any podcasters who self-identify as disabled. Successful applicants will receive a $10,000 (£8,167) grant to help fund their professional development, accommodations, equipment, marketing, living expenses, and IP licensing costs. 

“At Spotify, we’re constantly looking for ways to amplify diverse and underestimated voices through the power of audio,” said Dina Gabriel, head of diversity, inclusion, and belonging at Spotify. “This partnership with the Inevitable Foundation offers a unique opportunity for us to utilise our platform to create pathways for creators with disabilities and provide them with tools and resources that will help them hone their craft and build their professional careers.”

Podcasters over the age of 18 can apply from now until early 2023, and must have at least some significant experience in creating audio projects. This can mean meeting criteria from having a project acquired by a major audio network to having received over 10,000 listens per episode on an average 30-day period. 

Additional benefits of the program include quarterly check-ins with the Inevitable Foundation team, whose non-profit organisation aims to “break down barriers” against underrepresented mid-level disabled screenwriters. Participants also have the opportunity to expand their creator network with a range of community-building events as part of the program. 

“We want to create a world where disabled storytellers are able to create projects about anything they want, regardless of whether their stories contemplate disability, which is only one part of their complex identities,” said Inevitable Foundation co-founders Richie Siegel and Marisa Torelli-Pedevska in a statement. 

“For a community that has been shut out of so many creative industries for so long, the lower barriers of entry for podcasting create a fruitful starting point to make sizable gains when it comes to fostering the next generation of disabled podcasters and storytellers.”

The program’s announcement comes during UK Disability History Month which runs from 16 November to 16 December, celebrating the achievements, raising awareness, and amplifying the voices of people with disabilities. 

Independent podcast company Acast also announced on 23 November that it has launched a new initiative encouraging podcasters to add visual descriptions of the podcast hosts in their shows to be more inclusive of visually impaired listeners.

Programs from Acast’s Creator Network that have already taken part in this initiative include Katherine Ryan’s comedy podcast Telling Everybody Everything, comedy podcast Dane Baptiste Questions Everything, and sports podcast Football Ramble.

“By doing this, Acast hopes we can share the open nature of podcasting with as many people as possible and add context to conversations, jokes and segments previously off-limits to visually impaired people,” the company stated. “We know that this is a very small first step in making podcasting an accessible space and continue to work on other similar initiatives.”

Streaming platform Spotify has launched a new program in partnership with non-profit organisation Inevitable Foundation aimed at empowering podcasters with disabilities.