Those looking for an accessible laugh at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) are in luck, with plenty of steps being taken to make sure that the comedy on show is open to all. The festival – one of the world’s best known comedy showcases – has a dedicated accessibility page on its website with information for visitors with accessibility requirements. This includes details on accessing communication boards and sensory backpacks, and information about accessible parking, pubic transport, seating and bathrooms at festival venues.

The MICF also has an expanding list of Auslan-interpreted performances for the deaf and hard of hearing community. These can be found on the accessibility page, or by searching for shows using the Auslan filter, on the website’s show program. Julian O’Shea, an online creator known for his deep dive videos on Melbourne’s quirks, is performing at the MICF for the first time this year with his show M is for Melbourne: The World’s Mostly* Liveable City. One of the show’s performances will be Auslan-interpreted by Dr Kirri Dangerfield.

Julian, an engineer and designer by background, has put together several videos on how to design cities to be more accessible for people with disabilities. He said while Melbourne’s design is inclusive in some ways, there are areas that need improvement. He’d love to see some of Melbourne’s most iconic and important tram lines, like Sydney Road, made wheelchair accessible.

One of his favourite facts about Melbourne is that circular door knobs have been “designed out” of the city in favour of door levers which are more usable for those with issues around grip, such as arthritis, or limb differences.

For Julian, accessibility was front of mind when he conceived his MICF show.

“I love comedy and I love live art, and my goal is just to make it as accessible as possible,” he said.

“This is something I’m trying to do more of. I’m really keen to build [accessibility] in from the start.” Find out more about Julian’s MICF show online, and view his videos on all social media apps.

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