The legends at UKIE partnered with Many Cats studios to create their first ever disability and neurodiversity cohort as part of their Impact campaign. I was selected as one of 6 specialists in the vidogame industry for the very first cohort, having been shortlisted and then chosen by a panel of industry judges.
I'll be speaking induvidually and as part of roundtables on inclusivity at events like Develop:Brighton, Animex, Scottish Games Week, and the UKIE Students Conference. These talks are designed to educate the industry on disability and neurodiversity, to be a positive force for change in videogames.
As a part of BAFTA Connect '23-'26, I am using my platform to promote inclusivity as my career progresses through this opportunity. With inclusivity at the heart of what I champion in videogames, I also use my work in casting videogames from my diverse roster of voice actors as a chance to increase representation in the productions I am working on.
I'm a voiceover artist with paralysed vocal chords.
They've been that way since birth, and since then I have been compensating for it. Until recently, when I truly stepped into my power, pushing past that disability without denying its impact on my life.
Being a voice over artist who literally has paralysed vocal chords means that I have spent a lifetime speaking (ironically) about my challenges in speaking. As a child I was bullied for having a strange voice, as a teenager I had speech therapy and was even offered surgery that would permanently change my voice (I declined.) As an adult during the pandemic I had to convince cashiers at my local supermarket that I didn't have Covid, that's just what my voice sounds like!
As a VO in this industry, I am constantly fighting assumptions about my voice, made by others. I have lost work as a result of this. I also have to do a lot of extra work to maintain my vocal health, even more than a totally able VO, and have to work extra hard so that people don't think my fragile voice will simply stop performing after a certain period of time. I'd love to tell you some day about the time I lost out on a role, simply because due to the paralysis, I cannot scream...
Having this disability, however, has really come into its own specifically since I started working in the videogame industry. Turns out, people love it! Casting directors want their characters to sound husky and unique, and the characterful nature of my disabled voice means that I have the chance to finally find power in what my voice can do.
I strive to share my story and inspire anyone living and working with a disability or as a queer creative, that they can find their power through their uniqueness, and to encourage anyone working in the industry to push past assumption and stigma to reach the very top of this industry.
I have interviewed over 200 people as a presenter and have been interviewed myself many times over the years. So when it comes to presenting, speaking publicly and sharing my message through conscientious debate and discussion, I'm ready for anything.
(You many just need to turn up my microphone a little louder to compensate for my vocal paralysis!)