DJ with a disability

I am a professional DJ. DJ stands for disc jockey. I play music for people at parties. It is a great passion of mine. It all started six years ago. I was given some equipment. I played with the equipment for hours every day. I started my own business. It has been a success. I play at birthdays and weddings and other events. I would also really like to play at nightclubs. But the DJ booths are always inaccessible to wheelchair users like me. I hope that can change in future.
Posted by: 
Jarrod Marrinon on 03/08/2011
Jarrod Marrinon is wearing headphones and sitting in front of a turntable and other music equipment. He is working as a DJ.

Professional DJ Jarrod Marrinon in action

I've been a professional DJ for well over a year now. It is a great passion of mine. I am often seen playing at birthdays, weddings and other parties. I have a registered business name and have managed to save enough money to purchase my own equipment. I've created quite a name for myself.

My wish

It all started six years ago when I was granted a wish by the Make a Wish Foundation. I had to think carefully about what I really wanted. I asked myself: what would make me happy? I finally decided that I wanted some turntables and a mixer. The foundation granted my wish.

I ended up playing on my turntables for hours every day. It drove my parents crazy! In the following years I upgraded my music gear. But I what I really wanted to do was play in clubs and pubs. I had a friend who was a DJ. He was coming up the ranks. He taught me a lot.
I applied all the tricks and techniques I learnt. As a result I eventually started to get some gigs under my belt. In the first year I did six events. But it wasn't long before I was doing about 25 gigs a year. So I decided to go professional.

One problem

I had all the lights and sounds of a professional DJ. But I wasn't entirely happy. What I really wanted to do was play in a nightclub. I love clubbing with friends. I idolise the DJs that bring in the crowds while bringing the beats!

After going out clubbing I would try to recreate the mix on my turntables at home. I would do this for hours until it was perfect. Eventually I grew in confidence. I distributed my mixes to some local clubs. I received a really good response. They all liked my sound.

But there was one big problem. The DJ booths were always up high on a platform. They were also often up a flight of stairs or smaller than a toilet cubical. I am a wheelchair user and couldn't access them. One club owner promised me that he would make a DJ booth that was wheelchair accessible. Unfortunately, it proved too difficult for him. I still haven't seen an accessible DJ booth anywhere.

Dream come true

There is hope that my dream could come true. I have seen some DJs overseas who use wheelchairs. Many of them perform in busy clubs. One of my favourites is called DJ Sortness. She is unique as she DJs using a mouth stick. I find her inspirational. Her skills put mine to shame.

For now I will remain happy knowing that I am a popular DJ at private functions. And who knows about the future? You might see me rocking out at a club near you one day.

Readers comments (1)

I saw this week that Club Wild is holding fully accessible workshops in lighting, sound, DJing, MCing. It's on Saturday 10 September 10am - 4pm at North Melbourne Town Hall.

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