IPEd Conference 2021: Editing on the Edges

Graeme Innes

Graeme Innes AM is a lawyer, author, and company director. His autobiography Finding a Way achieved popular acclaim in 2016.

He has been a human rights practitioner for more than thirty years and is a conference presenter and facilitator.

Graeme was a Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission for nine years, responsible for issues relating to disability, race and human rights. In this role he led work on:

  • the ratification by Australia of a UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities
  • the Same Sex Same Entitlements inquiry
  • regulations in the areas of accessible buildings and transport
  • work with industry on TV and movie captions and accessible banking standards
  • three inspections of Australia's immigration detention centres.

Graeme led the merger of four blindness agencies to form Vision Australia, and chaired the board of that agency. He is currently the chair of the Attitude Foundation, a start-up aimed at using media to change attitudes towards Australians with disabilities.

He is also a Director of:

  • Life Without Barriers, a $500 million turnover NFP providing support to people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, asylum seekers and children in out-of-home care
  • the State Insurance Regulatory Authority, regulating workers’ compensation and motor vehicle accident insurance in NSW.

Graeme was awarded an AM for his work on the development of the Disability Discrimination Act, was a finalist for Australian of the Year, and, on the international stage, he was a member of the Australian delegation that participated in negotiating the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Canberra in 2014, RMIT University in 2016, UNSW in 2017 and Edith Cowan University in 2018, in recognition of his work as a human rights activist.

Graeme is married with two adult children, loves cricket as a spectator and sailing as a participant, and relaxes by enjoying fine Australian white wine.

It's only words

As the BeeGees tell us, It's only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away.

As writers and editors, all you have is words. So you need to use those words accessibly and inclusively.

In this presentation, Graeme Innes AM will talk about ableist language, and how you can exclude up to 20 percent of your audience by use of hurtful or ableist words or phrases. He will also discuss the concept of accessibility in the context of making your content available to everyone, including people who may use screenreaders, captions, or for cognitive reasons be challenged by the shape of your content.


Graeme's presentation is sponsored by the Australian Manual of Style (AMOS). 

AMOS is an online resource that provides practical and expert guidance to help editors and writers in government, business, and many academic disciplines to:

  • write and edit for clarity, accuracy and consistency
  • choose the right style for a variety of disciplines
  • create effective tables, graphs, maps and photos
  • learn about data visualisation and infographics
  • write reports, theses, presentations and press releases.

Visit stylemanual.com.au to explore the new manual and subscribe.

Online, 28 to 30 June 2021
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram