The Bay Area Rapid Transit System with Jonathan Lyens

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Jonathan Lyens is a blind user of BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, and a former financial analyst in the San Francisco Mayor’s Budget Office.  He believes the BART system needs more accountability and transparency.  As a candidate for the BART Board in District 8, he is promising open clean bathrooms, working elevators and escalators and a host of other improvements. 

We talk to Jonathan about how our beloved and beleaguered mass transit system does and does not serve people with disabilities.

Lyens’ Opponants are:
Janice Li

Melanie Nutter

Eva Chao

William Walker

Brian Larkin

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Direct Action Disability Style with Stephanie Thomas of ADAPT

Friday, September 28, 2-3 pm PST, KPFA radio

If you’re finding a determination for resistance, a rage to protect vulnerable humans, or wishing for the joy of community strength; maybe it’s time for some direct action.

Stephanie Thomas, a long-time organizer with ADAPT, the disability movement’s direct
action arm, joins us to explain how ADAPT actions organize some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the U.S. to stand tall for our rights and our lives.

Remember the photos of disabled people being dragged out of wheelchairs by security
guards as they protested proposed cuts to Obama Care a year ago. That ADAPT action
put a terrifying attack on our health care back on the Congressional shelf.

Listen in for the skinny on it all.

And… because every protest needs a good tee shirt, we’ll be offering protest gear for
the winter season for those who support KPFA by becoming a new or continuing
member. Call 510 848-5732 or 800-439-5732 during the show.

Mark Romoser, Shelley Berman, Josh Elwood and Adrienne Lauby join Stephanie Thomas for stories of triumph and accessibility.

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Mitch Jeserich

Friday, September 7, 2:30 pm, KPFA

All this week, Mitch Jeserich provided gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings.  Now, he takes a break to talk about his disability and disability politics in general.

How far has the disability community progressed in having representation in news media jobs?   Is covering the Kavanaugh hearings every day  as painful as it sounds?

Eddie Ytuarte and Josh Elwood will ask the questions as Mitch Jeserich sits on the other side of the microphone.

Jeserich, not only looks at burning political issues, but he often bring guests to talk about history in his popular program Letter and Politics, which airs Monday-Thursday at 10 am on KPFA.

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Congo Handicap with Francine Atosha Mbusa

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Although the eastern part of her country is engulfed in civil war, Francine Atosha Mbusa lives, works and takes empowering action in exactly that region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).   The government of the DRC was a strong supporter of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

However, local organizations like “Congo Handicap” are often the only protection for disabled people in the area. Violence rages around them as “Congo Handicap” gathers statistics, leads workshops, distributes supplies and supports individual rights.

Learn more as we interview Francine Atosha Mbusa, coordinator of “Congo Handicap.”  Leroy T. Moore Jr, the founder of Krip Hop Nation, is also on hand with an update on his work in Africa.

You can reach Francine Atosha Mbusa at   The best way to understand the day-to-day work of Congo Handicap is to follow Francine Atosha Mbusa on facebook.

Producer, Host, Editor: Adrienne Lauby
Interpreter: Joseph Mutti
Co-Editor: Sheela Gunn Cushman

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Hearing Loss with Punk Rocker, Kathy Peck

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You remember when the Bay Area was filled with the sounds of punk rock?  So does our guest Kathy Peck.  She played bass for the San Francisco all-woman band The Contractions.  Surprise!  All those loud shows led to hearing loss.

How did she deal with that?

How does music, laughter and DIY sound?

She talks about it all with Josh Elwood and Mark Romoser.

It’s Hip To Hear Survival Guide (download)

For over 30 years, Kathy Peck has been at the forefront of cutting edge music, community enrichment, and health advocacy and reform.  And, she’s championed all who value quality musical experiences.

Her 25+ year founding organization H.E.A.R. has redefined the tools, language, and image surrounding hearing loss prevention both in San Francisco and around the world.

HEAR’s accomplishments include :

1. The first earplug ordinance and fresh drinking water for music venues in San Francisco which has become a model for other cities.

2. Peck vs United Artists, the first ADA class action that brought about assistive listening devices and wheel chair assess to movie theaters, court rooms and other public venues etc,

3. More recently Kathy Peck worked on the Affordability Act for Hearing Aids appearing on NBC News with Lester Holt – it passed the House and Senate  and was signed into law.

Peck also served on the sub committee that formed the National Institute on Deafness with the first deaf president of Gallaudet University  promoting hearing conservation and media attention to these issues

She says, “I have been very blessed with my work in music hearing conservation whose mission grew worldwide with early support of Pete Townsend from Who.”

Through HEAR, Peck makes custom earplugs for musicians and music fans and conducts hearing conservation programs at music and sound arts schools.  Some of her clients are the SFOpera, SF Conservatory of Music and the Audio Engineering Society.

From her deep involvement in pioneering the cultural movement known as “Punk and New Wave” to spearheading a nationwide call for innovative ways to prevent hearing loss, Peck has delivered visionary leadership to multi- generations of music lovers, musicians – and beyond.

Kathy Peck has become a leader for hearing care advancement and champion for all who value quality musical experiences.

Audio editing by Sheela Gunn-Cushman.

original air date 7-20-18

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Independence 2018

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Shelley Berman hosts a different view of Independence Day, through the heart-felt viewpoint of Disabled Native American Activist, Mercedes Trippo.

Other disabled folks chime in on the question, “From what would you like to be Independent?”

Shelley’s sarcastic, biting repartee pushes the limits of acceptability and reminds us that ALL children are under fire under the current Fascist Regime of “Divide and Imprison” right here in the U.S. of A.

Disabled Lesbian Singer/songwriter, Ferron, is featured.

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Disability Thinking with Andrew Pulrang

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In these days of Trumpism and the virtual political domination by the political right, we turn to public intellectual, Andrew Pulrang, for a perspective on disability life, ideas, identity, culture and politics.

Eddie Ytuarte hosts.

Andrew Pulrang is a disability blogger, online activist, and former disability organization administrator.  His blog is “Disability Thinking” and he is one of the three co-partners of #CripTheVote, with Gregg Beratan and Alice Wong.

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Disability in Film with Movie Critic Kristen Lopez ~ Part Two

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Movie goers are often subjected to portrayals of people with disabilities that reinforce the many stereotypes about them. But film critic Kristen Lopez says some films are bucking this trend and sees hope on the horizon.  Hosts Alysa Chadow and Eddie Ytuarte trade stories of their favorite plots and portrayals with Kristen Lopez.

Kristen Lopez is a freelance pop culture essayist and critic based in Sacramento whose work has appeared at Film School Rejects, Remezcla and Paste. She also runs the classic film podcast Ticklish Business and the website Journeys in Classic Film. In her free time she enjoys classic movies, reading, and all things Oscar Isaac.

This is Part Two of our discussion with Kristen Lopez, hosted by Alysa Chadow and Eddie Ytuarte.  Part One was broadcast March 16 of this year.

Original Air Date: 6-1-18

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“Bottom Dollars” How 250K U.S. People with Disabilities Work for $2 an Hour

Listen 59 min

The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 created the right to a minimum wage, with one huge exception — people with disabilities.

We interview producer-director Jordan Melograna and play clips from “Bottom Dollars,” his documentary on sheltered workshops and the sub-minimum wage.  How is it that nearly 250,000 people are currently and legally paid, on average, less than $2 an hour?

The documentary exposes the exploitation of people with disabilities through personal stories and expert interviews. It also presents clear job alternatives, showing how people with disabilities can earn a competitive wage and work within the community.

Josh Elwood, Mark Romoser and Adrienne Lauby host this extended fund drive program.  With a commentary on the 12,000 wounded Palestinian protestors by Shelley Berman.

original air date: May 19, 2018

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Youth and Disability with Jamie Caron

Friday, May 4, 2:30 pm PDT, KPFA

In the wake of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida., youth activists have taken center stage as never before.   Disability activists made history with last summer’s ADAPT protests of the Medi-Care cuts in Washington, Colorado and elsewhere.

So, what’s going on today at the intersection of youth and disability?

Jamie Caron of DANY, the Hayward-based Disability Action Network for Youth, joins hosts Mark Romoser and Sheela Gunn-Cushman to talk about what issues are picking up steam for young people with disabilities.

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