Ethan Explains Type 1 Diabetes

Listen (28 min)

Six year old Ethan Borochoff is interested in many things and most of them are NOT Type 1 Diabetes.  Yet, like most kids with severe disabilities, he knows way more than the average bear about the disease he lives with.  Listen in to hear how he makes it through his days.  Ethan explains it all: insulin pumps, carbohydrates, wobbly legs and why children can experiment with batteries but not the electricity in plugs.

Last summer, Ethan chatted about insulin pumps with Sam Fuld, a professional baseball outfielder who also lives with Type 1 Diabetes.  He met Sam at Root Bear Float Day at the Oakland A’s baseball game, a benefit for the Greater Bay Area Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  This year’s benefit is Tuesday, July 18th when the A’s play the Tampa Bay Rays in a night game.  

Since 2003, the A’s have raised over $486,000 for this cause.  Click here to purchase tickets.  All proceeds from Root Beer Float Sales and a portion of special tickets will benefit the research.

Ethan is the youngest guest to ever do a feature interview on Pushing Limits but we hope he won’t hold that record for long.   We’d like to interview more children who live with severe disabilities.  Send them to us at (707) 795-2890 or via email at

Produced and hosted by Shelley Berman, with help from Adrienne Lauby.  Editing by Sheela Gunn-Cushman.

Original air date: June 16, 2017

Posted in Adrienne Lauby, Individual disease and identity groups, Portraits, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Shelley Berman, Story Telling - Disability, Youth | Tagged , , , , , | | Comments Off on Ethan Explains Type 1 Diabetes

Dennis Billups – “Patient No More”

Friday, June 2, 2017, 2:30 pm PST

Dennis Billups joins Eddie Ytuarte with a first person account of the historic disability occupation of the federal HEW building in 1977.  This protest of the delay of 504 regulations became a precursor to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Billups’ history, as well as that of other disability activists, will be on display in the multi-media exhibit,  “Patient No More: People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights,” which opens at the San Francisco Library next week. “Patient No More” will be on display from June 10 through September 3, 2017.
Also, with us is Fran Osborne, exhibit curator, to highlight the unique aspects of this exhibit and give other presenters hints to make their events more inclusive.

This program is streamed live at and most past programs are also archived.
Earlier Pushing Limits coverage of the “Patient No More” exhibit can be heard here.

Eddie Ytuarte, producer and host.


Posted in Accessibilty, Activism, Community, Eddie Ytuarte, Historical Exhibit, History, Politics, Protest, Story Telling - Disability | Tagged , , , , | | Comments Off on Dennis Billups – “Patient No More”

“Red Diaper Daughter” with Laura Bock

Friday, May 19, 2-3 pm PST on KPFA

Laura Bock is an extraordinary blind white woman whose new memoir, Red Diaper Daughter tells an extraordinary story of three generations of rebels and revolutionaries. She talks about her communist and anarchist family… and her own journey though a life well-lived in struggle, self growth and organizing.

Josh Elwood, Mark Romoser and Adrienne Lauby co-host this fund drive edition of Pushing Limits.  Become a member of KPFA and support Pushing Limits by calling (510) 848-5732 or toll free at 800-439-5732.  During the program.  If you pledge at the $75 level, we’ll send you Red Diaper Daughter as our thank you.

Laura Bock’s begins her story with that of her famous “red” grandparents who sought to overthrow the Russian Czar and were devoted organizers in the U.S. Communist Party.  Her parents and aunt too, Mini Carson, Peggy Dennis and Al Bock, were well known labor organizers, journalists and revolutionaries. 

We talk about Laura Bock’s life of disability activism, feminism, self-supporting business and Fat Lip Readers Theater which she co-founded and performed with for 18 years.

Feminism, disability, and fat activism intersect with a family history of revolutionary struggle.  We talk about it all.


Posted in Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Blind, Community, Deaf, Fat Liberation, Individual disease and identity groups, Josh Elwood, Mark Romoser, Poetry & Prose, Protest | Tagged , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on “Red Diaper Daughter” with Laura Bock

Cripping Capitalism – Cheryl Green

Listen Friday, May 5, 2:30 pm PDT, KPFA radio

Capitalism is about money.  Capitalism is about the 80% of disabled people who don’t have full time employment.  Capitalism is also about how we think.  Capitalism tells us it’s okay the majority of people in jails have learning disabilities, mental disabilities, brain injuries and physical disabilities.  Capitalism affects us in ways we don’t always see.

In this program disability activist Cheryl Green explains how capitalism has influenced the disability experience,  as well as that of other oppressed people.

Cheryl Green is the prime force behind StoryMinders, where she works as a film-maker, educator and advocate.   Green lives with a brain injury and focuses much of her work in that area.

Check out “Cripping Capitalism” on YouTube, where Green and her co-presenter, Caitlin Wood, cover the fascinating issues of disability, feminism, and the controversy of work.

Eddie Ytuarte hosts.

Posted in Activism, Community, Disability Justice, Eddie Ytuarte, Head Injuries, Politics | Tagged , , , , | | Comments Off on Cripping Capitalism – Cheryl Green

Non-Violent Direct Action Protest and Disability

Listen (28 min)

ADAPT is a dynamic direct action group that blocks streets, sits in at the offices of D.C. politicos, and raises hell about the rights of disabled people. They bring hundreds of people with disabilities to their national actions.

We talk with ADAPT organizer Bruce Darling about how they do it and how you can work with disabled people for your protests too. Disabled people and the disability rights movement have been protesting for a long time. We bring you the that history.  For a Timeline of some of the major events written by Mark Romoser, click here.

Bruce Darling is co-founder of the Center for Disability Rights Inc. During his career, he has dealt with a variety of disability issues. He also is a community organizer with ADAPT, a national grassroots community of disability rights activists, and has written a number of public policy analyses on disability rights issues.

ADAPT’s Spring Action will be in Washington, DC from May 13th to May 18th. E-mail Michael Heinrich at

Hosts: Mark Romoser and Adrienne Lauby

Original air date: 4-21-17

Posted in Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Mark Romoser, Politics, Protest, Story Telling - Disability | Tagged , , , | | Comments Off on Non-Violent Direct Action Protest and Disability

Major Disability Non-Violent Direct Actions 1935 – 2017

By Mark Romoser
1935 – League of the Physically Handicapped, NYC, sit-in at office of Emergency Relief Bureau.
The League also tried to educate unions and other progressive groups about disability issues, and were branded as “Reds” (communists) for their troubles.

1964 – White Cane Day, blind people demonstrating on behalf of pedestrian safety for people using travel canes. The blind community has long been in the forefront of the disability rights movement; all states had guide dog laws decades before the ADA.

1977 – 504 sit-ins in San Francisco.  Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act, a precursor of the ADA, required the federal government and any entity receiving federal funds to end discrimination on the basis of disability. President Carter’s secretary of health and human services, Joseph Califano, dragged his feet on drafting the regulations that would implement Section 504. Activists occupied the federal building in SF for nearly a month. When the government cut off phone service to the building (years before cell phones), Deaf people in the building got messages in and out by signing back and forth to allies outside.

1983 – ADAPT.  Originally Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit, ADAPT frequently protested the American Public Transit Association demanding lift-equipped buses. After the ADA mandated such buses, ADAPT’s focus shifted to the one-quarter of U.S. nursing home residents who are under age 65 and have disabilities, under the slogan “FREE OUR PEOPLE!” In the early days, ADAPTers blocked buses at the main transfer point in downtown Denver to get their point across.

1990 – Capitol Crawl.  Wheelchair users crawl up the steps of the U.S. Capitol to demand passage of the ADA. Some of them were children.

2010 – Arnieville.  Disability and homeless activists occupy a traffic island in Berkeley for one month to protest Gov. Schwarzenegger’s draconian budget cuts. When the activists brought the papier-mache statue of Schwarzenegger to Sacramento and blocked off a street in front of the Capitol, it took Sacramento police 45 minutes to clear the street and take them to jail, because they had no accessible vehicle to get them there.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Major Disability Non-Violent Direct Actions 1935 – 2017

Disabled Artists in South Africa, Trump on Disability

Friday, March 31, 2017, 2:30 pm PDT, KPFA

Josh Elwood talks with Mitch Jeserich about President Trump’s attitude toward disability.  Then, we seek out disabled and deaf artists in South Africa with Leroy F. Moore Jr. and Simon Manda.

Leroy F. Moore Jr is the founder of Krip Hop Nation.  He recently visited seven South African cities with Simon Manda, the cofounder of THISABILITY, a South African newspaper covering the disabled community.

Mitch Jeserich is host of KPFA’s Letters and Politics.

We also discuss HB 610 a bill that funds a huge attack on public education in the form of voucher programs by directly de-funding education for children with disabilities.   Here’s the details of that.   Tell your congress people to vote “NO”.   The congressional switchboard is: 202-224-3121.

Here’s some of the details:

Republican attack on Kids with Disabilities & Public Schools – HB 610

The school voucher system proposed by Education secretary Betsy DeVos does not mean you can choose any school you want your kid to go to. It means the public education program will be dismantled.

If your child has an IEP (individual education plan for students with special needs), kiss it goodbye.

If you have a job in special-education, if you’re a special education teacher, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, a para, a teacher’s aid, or an ESL (English as a second language) teacher, you’ll go first.

House Bill 610 makes some large changes. Inform yourselves. This bill will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5-17 and starts the defunding process of public schools.

The bill will eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nation’s educational law that provides equal opportunity in education. ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, advanced and gifted kids in AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance, and Federal Accountability Programs.

The Bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch.

The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting Special Needs kids, no mention of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education).

Here are some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities.  These things would be repealed and de-funded:

-Ensures access to the general education curriculum.

-Ensures access to accommodations on assessments.

-Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning.

-Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups.

-Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion).

Organize in your school and community to resist this disastrous proposal.  Say NO to HB 610.

Produced and hosted by Adrienne Lauby.

Original air date: 3-21-17

Posted in Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Arts, Education, Josh Elwood, Music, Poetry & Prose, Politics, Visual | Tagged , , , , , | | Comments Off on Disabled Artists in South Africa, Trump on Disability

Autism and Trans Identity

Friday, March 17, 2:30 PST on KPFA

There is a growing nexus between the autism spectrum and trans identity, which we explore as we take an in-depth look at the lives of Autistic people in the Bay Area.  Host Mark Romoser and guest Tracy Garza are both Autistic. Tracy  outlines an initiative to make San Francisco, with its large trans population, into an Autistic-friendly city.

Tracy also gives us a glimpse into a new coping technique for Autistic people.  With a discussion of the lives of Autistic people taken by caregivers, police and others.

Tracy Garza is a founding member of the local Transgender Law Center, a current member of the LGBT advisory committee of the Human Rights Commission of San Francisco and was the emcee of the recent Day of Mourning sponsored by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Autism and Trans Identity

Eli Clare – Grappling with Cure

Listen (58 min)

White, disabled, and genderqueer, Eli Clare’s new book, Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure, questions the typical hostility of the disability movement toward the mythology of The Cure. He explores his rage at the many ways the ‘search for the cure’ has ostracized and limited people with disabilities. But, then he dives deeper.

Based in his own experiences with severe mental disability, numerous conversations, research and his chosen surgery to support a gender change, Clare asks questions that have been taboo within our movement for much too long.

Clare is a nationally-known writer, speaker and teacher who is celebrated for his ability to talk about difficult topics with bruising and unblinking honesty.

Join us to consider your own relationship with “The Cure.”

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


Original air date: March 3, 2017

Posted in Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Bullying, Community, Disability Justice, History, Josh Elwood, Poetry & Prose, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Shelley Berman | Comments Off on Eli Clare – Grappling with Cure

Disability and Donald Trump – Call In

Friday, February 17, 2:30 pm PST

Almost a month into our long national nightmare, we ask ‘how will the Trump administration affect the lives of people with disabilities?’  Trump’s campaign started with the mocking of a reporter’s disability.  Now we’ve moved on to an education secretary who had to be told what the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is, and an attorney general who thinks that students with disabilities are “disruptive.”  Coming soon: devastating cuts to healthcare.

Are you as concerned about this as we are? If so, Pushing Limits invites you to call in Friday afternoon at 2:30 pm and tell hosts Sheela Gunn-Cushman and Mark Romoser how these drastic changes might impact your life.

Call us to weep, resist, build coalitions and
strengthen your resolve to make social change.
(510) 848-4425

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Disability and Donald Trump – Call In