Dunedin man Phil Rogers has not let his non-verbal condition get in the way of hosting his own radio show on OAR FM Dunedin.
Cerebral palsy, caused by brain damage from a childhood illness, affected Mr Rogers’ motor functioning and took away his ability to speak.
A growing desire to advance the interests of people who had been prevented from achieving what they wished with their lives because of financial, mobility or communication barriers led Mr Rogers to enrol for study at Dunedin College of Education, where he earned a National Certificate in Human Services.
In 2005, a support worker suggested he might like to have his own music-based radio show, using a Liberator communication aid to record passages of text to play when needed.
“Once I got the idea of a radio show of my own in my head there was no getting out of it, and there was only one topic for the theme of it, considering my lifelong interest in trucks and the truckers who drive them,” said Mr Rogers.
Phil’s Trucking Show provided an opportunity to acknowledge family and friends through “shout-outs”, and to encourage truckers on the road.
“I also wanted to dedicate songs to people who work for the community to make it safer and who provide rescue services, such as ambulance, fire and police.”
Various factors, including technical difficulties with the Liberator device, saw Mr Rogers take a break from the show in August, 2017. He returned to the OAR FM studios earlier this month, bringing improved communication technology in the form of an iPad.
The radio show was the best part of his week, and he planned to do “many more shows”.
“I see it as a way of encouraging people, particularly people who work day and night to help other people. It’s also a way of thanking people who have helped me.”
Phil’s Trucking Show airs fortnightly on Mondays at 1pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, with podcasts available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.