Valerie – human ‘book’ & comedian

Valerie joined the Hobart Human Library earlier this year.

As a writer, she finds the idea of being a ‘book’ rather pleasing. She is keenly aware of the power of words, “My world is rather alien to most folk, but words are the common ground we share.” Her story focuses on the invisibility and exclusion she has faced, having been blind for 30 years.

Over the decades, Valerie has witnessed positive changes in realms such as accessibility and adaptive technology. She says it is getting easier for people with disabilities to participate in activities they find meaningful. However, people’s attitudes and perceptions of disability have been much slower to change. “People consistently underestimate what I can do. It’s more like they simply see me, on the whole, as ‘unable’.”

This photo is of Valerie performing at the Joker’s Club, Hobart.
Valerie performing at the Jokers club

It is only in the past few years that Valerie believes there have been more encouraging signs of progress. Representation is improving and there seems to be a greater willingness to listen, which is why Valerie is eager to share her experience at this time. She has found the engagement and responses in the Inclusion Forums to be “both reassuring and refreshing”.

Valerie teaches meditation and facilitates wellbeing groups. She is also a stand-up comedian, something she really enjoys, in part because,

“When I am on stage with a microphone, you will see me, I will make sure of that.”

Scroll to Top