Marcel “Fable the Poet” Price

September 30, 2016, 2:30-3 pm PDT, KPFA

At age 14 Fable was diagnosed with anxiety, stage two bipolar, and depression. His home life was abusive and, as he says, “everything else was very, very, very hard to deal with.”

Today he works with Mental Health America, traveling to different parts of the country to start a conversation about these issues, to talk to youth and to show them that they’re not alone – that these feelings and situations are some of the things that happen to people.

Hear some of Fable’s life story, listen to his poetry and hear his thoughts on gentrification in Grand Rapids, the treatment of Colin Kaepernick by some of the Black community and much more. 

Fable’s new book, Adrift in a Sea of M&Ms:  Mixed-Race Issues and Mental Disorders, was published this summer from Autonomous Press.  You can find and follow his work on Sound Cloud here.

We’re proud to welcome Leroy F. Moore Jr. back to our airwaves as the interviewer and guest host of this program. 

Transcript: Chery Green
Audio Editing: Sheela Gunn-Cushman.
Production Support: Adrienne Lauby.

original air date: 9-30-16

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Paying the Price for Peace: The Story of S.Brian Willson

Listen, 59 min

We talk to S. Brian Willson who put his body in front of a train carrying illegal weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras — and the train ran over him.   It all went down in the California bay area, at the Concord Naval Weapons Station, in the fall of 1987.

When the train deliberately ran Brian down; he lost the right fontal lobe of his brain and both his legs. Three days later, ten thousand people showed up and munition shipments were delayed for a loooonnnnng time.

There’s a new movie about Brian Willson called, Paying the Price for Peace.

We play  clips from the movie and talk to Brian about his life as a pacifist and anti-war activist who has lived with a severe disability for 29 years.

This is a fund drive program.

Adrienne Lauby, Shelley Berman & Josh Elwood co-host.

Audio editing by Sheela Gunn-Cushman. Produced by Adrienne Lauby.

Original Air Date: 9-16-16
Posted in Accessibilty, Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Movie, Shelley Berman, Story Telling - Disability, Veterans | Tagged , , , | | Comments Off on Paying the Price for Peace: The Story of S.Brian Willson

Movement for Black Lives, Platform and Critique

Listen (29 min)
Guest: Vilissa Thompson of Ramp Your Voice

The Movement For Black Lives posted their incredible Vision 4 Black Lives Platform in late July.  As one could expect, it is most thorough in issues related to police violence and incarceration in the black community, including demilitarization of the police and an end to the bail system.  But, it draws a much wider net to encompass many of the core issues that make Black lives difficult including reparations, investment and divestment, economic justice, community control, and political power.

Developed in a year-long process that engaged at least 50 black-led organizations and hundreds of individuals, the platform contains 30+ policy briefs with information about whether legislation can happen at the local, state or federal level, links to groups already working on related projects, and resources including model legislation and talking points.

For any movement or organization, a document like this represents a major achievement. 

Now, for the critique.

In the third paragraph the platform says it believes “in elevating the experiences and leadership of the most marginalized Black people,” including the differently abled (sic). 

Yet, in the over 85 pages of the platform, the word “disability”  or “differently abled” is mentioned only six times and the insights of the Disability Justice Movement are missing from the document throughout.

The erasure of disability is particularly shocking, given the large number of police killings of Black people with disabilities.  Black people with mental disabilities are particularly at risk of death at the hands of police, yet their lives are invisible in this document.

Today, we read some of this remarkable “Vision 4 Black Lives” Platform out loud:  The Introduction and, from the Reparations Demand, the proposal for a guaranteed livable minimum income for all Black people.*

Then, we talk to Vilissa Thompson who will spell out what the Black Lives Matter organizations missed by excluding the insights of Black disability activists.  Ms Thompson’s advocacy has an intersectional focus of race, disability, & gender, with a specific focus on Black disabled women.

Adrienne Lauby hosts.
Reading by Shelley Berman, Mark Romoser and Adrienne Lauby

*For more from the author of the Universal Basic Income proposal, Dorian T. Warren, click here.

Original Air date: 9-2-16
Posted in Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Disability Justice, Mark Romoser, Race, Shelley Berman | Tagged , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Movement for Black Lives, Platform and Critique

Karen Nakamura

Listen 29 min

Pushing Limits is pleased to present an interview with cultural and visual anthropologist Karen Nakamura who recently accepted the position as Haas Distinguished  Chair of Disability Studies at UC Berkeley.   She is a highly-educated and skilled woman who is deeply immersed in the disability community.

Dr. Nakamura, who formerly taught at Yale, will be  working on projects using robotics and prosthesis to address questions of aging and disability in Japan and the US. She is building an accessible makerspace on the university campus.

Topics range from the role of Anthropology and Ethnography to the disability community to prison-caused disabilities to corporate funding in the academic world.


Posted in Accessibilty, Adaptive Aids, Adrienne Lauby, Disability Studies, Eddie Ytuarte, Research, Science | Tagged , , , | | Comments Off on Karen Nakamura

“Telethons” with Catherine Kudlick

Listen 59 min.

It’s a fund drive period at KPFA and, true to our radical nature, we have fun AND ask ourselves hard questions about modern non-profit money raising.

Catherine Kudlick, editor of Telethons, is with us for the hour.  Telethons is Paul Longmore’s posthumously published exploration of these post-World War ll television spectacles which conflated disability and the business of charity. 

Beginning in 1972 people with disabilities criticized the telethons, which raised money for foundations helping those living with muscular dystrophy, arthritis, polio, cerebral palsy and other major diseases.  As a disability activist and historian, Longmore locates telethons as a phenomenon within U.S. history, a phenomenon that often abused the very people it raised money to help.

Disability Telethons pioneered and developed techniques used in non-profit fundraising today, such as product tie-ins, corporate sponsorship, cause-related marketing and the hype of half-truth.

What sweet irony to learn a book that exposes how people with disabilities are exploited for fundraising will help keep “Pushing Limits,” a radio show run by and for people with disabilities, on the air.  In this knowing wink among fighters for social justice there’s something much bigger: it’s a fiendishly subversive protest not with bullhorns and signs, but with lifted finger at a whole system that sacrificed dignity in the name of charity. – Catherine Kudlick

We also play clips from Mickee Faust’s Gimp Parade, featuring wicked parodies of classic disability films; savage impersonations of beloved telethon hosts; nasty takes on evacuation PSAs, game shows, Princeton philosophers, and the like.  Tune in for “The Scary Lewis Yell-A-Thon.”

Produced by Adrienne Lauby.
Hosted by Sheela Gunn-Cushman, Josh Elwood, Shelley Berman and Adrienne Lauby

Original air date: July 29, 2016

Posted in Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Comedy, Historical Exhibit, Josh Elwood, Poetry & Prose, Protest, Research, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Shelley Berman | Tagged , , , , | | Comments Off on “Telethons” with Catherine Kudlick

Alice Wong

Listen (29 min)

Join us for a spirited discussion of #CripTheVote,  (an online non-partisan campaign about voting and disability issues) and hear how people with disabilities are affecting today’s media narrative.   We talk to disability media mover and shaker, Alice Wong.

Here are just a few samples of Alice’s work:

Diversifying Radio with Disabled Voices by Alice Wong.

…we need to question the aesthetic reasoning at the root of this supposedly listener-centered approach to speaker selection as well as the idea that “pleasing to the ear” is somehow a sufficient explanation for the absence of disabled voices on the radio. We cannot begin to expand the range of permitted voices on radio without simultaneously undermining the ideologies of ability and disability that disqualify those voices in the first place.

Asian Pacific Americans with Disabilities: Our Stories, Our Lives by Alice Wong

If the disability rights movement wants to evolve and thrive in the future, it must embrace an intersectional approach in everything they do. Rather than saying, ‘I don’t know any Asian Pacific Americans with disabilities,’ or ‘I can’t find qualified people of color for this position,’ organizations and leaders must go across movements and communities where disabled people of color are located rather than waiting for them.

With Vilissa Thompson of Ramp Your Voice!, Alice is currently conducting a survey, #GetWokeADA26, for people of color about the experience of disabled people of color with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Deadline is Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

Alice Wong is the founder and Project Coordinator of the Disability Visibility Project, a project collecting oral histories of people with disabilities in the United States that is being run in coordination with StoryCorps.  The Disability Visibility Project was created on the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.   Alice Wong also serves as an advisory board member for APIDC, Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California.

Wong was a Presidential appointee to the National Council on Disability an independent federal agency which advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on disability policies, programs, and practices.  In 2015, Wong attended the reception at the White House for the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act via telepresence robot. She was the first person to visit the White House and the President by robot presence.

Adrienne Lauby produces and hosts.

Original air date: 7-15-20

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Disability and Sports

Listen (29 min)

How  do sports effect you as a disabled person? Are you a player/doer? Spectator? Do sports and things about them encourage/discourage you? Do you feel that you can’t participate? Do you wish you  could? How do the images around sports reflect on ablism? Do you notice all the sports-related language in our culture?

Don’t give a damn? Is this all just a bunch of hooplah that means nothing?

We tackle how sports effect people with disabilities, and take call ins.  It’s a participatory sport. No losers possible.

Produced and Hosted by Sheela Gunn Cushman, Co-host Mark Romoser.  With essays by Doyle Saylor, Tangikina Moimoi, and “Bob.”  Audio narration by Adrienne Lauby.


Original air date: July 1, 2016

Posted in Adrienne Lauby, Mark Romoser, Recreation, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Sports | Tagged , | | Comments Off on Disability and Sports

Women Singers with Disabilities

Friday,  June 17 2:30 pm PST on KPFA

Who is Mary Lambert and what does she have in common with Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Rosemary Clooney, Karen Carpenter, and Renata Tabaldi?

All these popular women singers and/or composers have experienced major disabilities in their lives; disabilities which posed barriers to their art, often spurred or directed their musical careers–or even led to a premature death.

Pushing Limits, the creative voice of disability radio, again samples some of the musicians with disabilities who have contributed to our broad and varied cultural landscape.

Produced and Hosted by Eddie Ytuarte.

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#DisabilityTooWhite – Call In

Listen (29 min)

Vilissa Thompson of Ramp Your Voice joins us to talk about the twitter storm she raised with her hashtag #DisabilityTooWhite.  Many people of color with disabilities tweeted about the barriers they find in the movement.  White people joined the conversation too. 

Is the Disability Movement Too White?  And, more importantly, if it is, what can be done about it? 

We’ve got a few other topics for today’s show:

–The current boycott of the movie “Me Before You” which hits more theaters this weekend,

–A recent release of the best towns and cities for people with disabilities.  Where do you think your city should rank on this list?  Among the best?  Among the worst?   Tell us why.

Eddie Ytuarte and Adrienne Lauby host.

The map of the 2015 Best and Worst Cities for People with Disabilities.

Source: WalletHub
Posted in Accessibilty, Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Call In Program, Community, Disability Justice, Eddie Ytuarte, Race | Tagged , , | | Comments Off on #DisabilityTooWhite – Call In

Black Kripple Delivers Poems and Lyrics

Listen 59 min

We’re high on poetry this week… stories of disabled people told to the beat of the heart.

And, we’re focusing on black and brown people with disabilities because we’re hosting Leroy F. Moore Jr., and his new book, Black Kripple Delivers Poetry and Lyrics.  Listen in as we follow the founder of Krip Hop Nation into a discussion of history, police brutality and the life of a black activist with a disability.

Bonus Clips
“They Came On Foot” for Avotcja (poem)

Leroy Moore is the co-founder of Sins Invalid, a disability performance project, he writes the “illin n chillin” column at Poor Magazine, and he’s put out two poetry cds. 

Here’s just a few of his other projects:

While we are in the studio with you, Leroy will be out on the streets leading the Stolen Land/Hoarded Resources Redistribution, Decolonization & Community Reparations Tour in Oakland, California.

“As we humbly and peacefully walk into “wealthy” neighborhoods across the “U.S.”, we will be offering land and stolen resource hoarders a chance to begin the very serious work of Decolonization by redistributing one or more of their hoarded and bordered stolen indigenous territory, buildings, homes, stocks, bonds, cash or trust funds to landless and indigenous people in the form of what we call Community Reparations.”

In early June you can find Leroy Moore in L.A. for the opening of Lynn Manning’s play, IT’S A KRIP HOP NATION (where are my crippled homies at!)  Playing June 3, 4, 10 and 11, at the Rosenthal Theater in L.A.

Late this year, Leroy Moore will be touring South Africa with Simon Manda Editor and Co-Founder of THISABILITY Newspaper.

“November 2016 to December 2016, Disability Month in South Africa, Krip Hop will traveling to the major cities of South Africa to film, record and write on the voices to give a multimedia reflection of what the situation is on the ground as well as engage stakeholders on the needs of persons with disabilities in the creative space.”

We’re proud to air Adrienne Lauby’s interview with Leroy F. Moore Jr. and most of the Pushing Limits Gang will be in the studio to ask you to support our work by supporting KPFA radio.  We’ll send you a copy of “Black Kripple Delivers Poetry and Lyrics” as a thank you give if you pledge at the $60 level.  At the $30 level, we’ll send you either “The Bird Escapes” a retrospective of Martha Courtot’s poetry or the “Pushing Limits Poetry Compilation” as either a C.D. or an mp3.

During the program call to make a pledge at 510 848-5732 or toll free at 800-439-5732.  If you can’t listen when the program is broadcast, contact Adrienne Lauby at adrienne [at] to make arrangements.

Original Air Date: May 20, 2016

Posted in Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Community, Disability Justice, History, Music, Poetry & Prose, Race, Story Telling - Disability | Tagged , , , , , | | Comments Off on Black Kripple Delivers Poems and Lyrics