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.

Posted in Activism, Community, Disability Organizations, Mark Romoser, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Teens, Youth | Tagged , , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Youth and Disability with Jamie Caron

IHSS Electronic Visit Verification: All We Know – and the things we don’t

Friday, April 20, 2:30-3 pm at

Electronic visit verification is a component of the 21st century CURES Act of 2016. It was a sneaky little poison pill added to the act and no one likes it…Except those who believe workers and recipients are ALL fraudulent pirates who MUST BE STOPPED! It will affect all in-home care programs including California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). And, if states do not implement it, they’ll lose critical funding for Medicaid (that’s Medi-Cal in California).

Many states have already begun implementation of this federal requirement with many Orwellian results, so workers and recipients in California are VERY concerned about what the future will look like for people with disabilities. There is yet hope! Our privacy protectors have already won an important delay in the start date and they are working on long term fixes.

Hannah Karpilow, a home care worker, and Marissa Shaw, a recipient of In-Home Supportive Services join Shella Gunn-Cushman and Alysa Chadow to discuss this prickly complex issue.

Community Forum and Roundtable Discussions

Bay Area – Berkeley
Monday, April 23,  3-4:30 pm
Ed Roberts Campus
3075 Adeline St.  Berkeley

Tuesday, April 24, 4-6 pm
SEIU Local 2015
West Sacramento Office
691 W. Capitol Ave, West Sacramento

Los Angeles
Thursday, April 26, 4-6 pm
SEIU Local Headquarters
2910 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles

The only entities benefiting
from this EVV mandate
are the EVV vendors!

Richard Daggett, President, Polio Survivors Association
Member, American Academy of Home Care Medicine

Posted in Aysha Chadow, California Budget, Caretakers/Attendents, IHSS, Leah Gardner, Marissa Shaw, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | | Comments Off on IHSS Electronic Visit Verification: All We Know – and the things we don’t

Homelessness and Disability Rights

Listen 29 min

On April 5, 2018 a Federal judge in San Francisco heard arguments against evicting the 125+ people of a Sebastopol Road homeless camp in Santa Rosa. The camp residents asked the judge to issue a temporary restraining order against the eviction, claiming the County of Sonoma, whose land they reside upon, is violating their 4th, 8th & 14th amendment rights, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act.  At the time of this program, the judge’s final decision was unknown.

Attorneys for the residents found a high rate of disability within the camp and said that many camp residents were not being accommodated in local homeless shelters. This is an unusual way to think about homelessness.

To delve into this situation, we talk to Santa Rosa Council Woman Julie Combs.

Since she was first elected in 2012, Julie Combs has been part of our struggle for something better for poor and homeless people. Her work at the city council gives hope to the cynical that politicians can be true representatives of the people. She’s a trained mechanical engineer with experience as an Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator.

We also talk to Kalia Mussetter, a Mental Health Peer Advocate & System Navigator, and the founder of Living Bridges, a local non-profit consultancy that provides direct services to our chronically homeless neighbors. She also gives In-Service provider trainings in Trauma-Informed Care, as she puts it, “from the vulnerable side of the helping desk.”

Official statistics say that 64% of homeless people in Sonoma County live with one or more health conditions, and 41% meet the standard of a HUD disabling condition.  Our guests agree that, actually, a much higher percentage of homeless people are disabled.  Of the homeless people with a disability, 20% have physical limitations and almost 20% more suffer from PTSD.  

Producer/Host:  Adrienne Lauby
Co-host: Sheela Gunn Cushman

Original Air Date: 4-5-18

Posted in Accessibilty, Activism, Adrienne Lauby, Americans with Disabilities Act, analysis & commentary, Community, Housing, Mental Disability, Sheela Gunn Cushman | Tagged , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Homelessness and Disability Rights

Disability Goes To The Movies

Friday, March 15, 2:30 pm, KPFA radio

Is disability as portrayed in American popular cinema slowly transforming itself?

Are filmmakers getting away from the good old days when a person with a disability was often viewed as a friendly, intellectually-challenged creature to be cuddled and protected because us disabled folk could not fend for ourselves or offer gifts to society? Are popular films breaking away from the usual Hollywood mushy, exploitative treatment of disability in films like the 1957, “An Affair to Remember?”

And furthermore, is the film industry questioning the knee jerk idea that disability equals evil?

Freelance film critic Kristen Lopez takes up these topics and more with Eddie Ytuarte and Alysha Chadow.

Kristen Lopez is a Sacramento disabled freelance film critic and essayist whose work has appeared on The Hollywood Reporter, The Daily Beast,, and TCM.

She’s the creator of two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business which allow her to indulge her love of feminism and film. She says she spends far too much time on her Twitter page @Journeys_Film and adds, “The Little Mermaid – yes, I’m arguing that’s a narrative about a woman with disabilities.”

Posted in analysis & commentary, Aysha Chadow, Eddie Ytuarte, Film, Movie, Story Telling - Disability | Tagged , , , , , | | Comments Off on Disability Goes To The Movies

Stop Electronic Monitoring of In Home Support Workers

Upcoming actions from the Stop EVV Coalition, a local grass roots coalition of consumers and IHSS workers

EVV means Electronic Visit Verification.  It’s a federal requirement that could invade our homes and make it difficult to work with the care givers who help us.
The State of California is discussing what to do about this.  Activists are protesting and testifying. 

Here’s how to help:

Thursday, March 8:
Senate Budget Health and Human Services Subcomittee hearing. Union activists are leading the grass roots testimony against EVV. Starts at Capitol Bldg, approx 9:30 am. and may go all day. If you can’t go in person please call the following Senators and register your opposition:
Senator (Dr.) Richard Pan (Chair)
Sacto Phone: (916) 651-4006

Senator Bill Monning
Sacto Phone: (916) 651-4017
email at   

Friday, March 9:

Stakeholder meeting on EVV conducted by California Health and Human Services Agency. (CDSS) Meeting at 1-3. We plan to demonstrate outside the building at noon in order to leaflet the attendees but you can also particpate by phone from home. You must sign up in advance to attend in person or by phone. 

Some of us will be taking the train. For transportation assistance please contact Marissa

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“Lab Girl” with Hope Jahren

Listen (59 min)

Hope Jahren, author of the best selling memoir, Lab Girl, joins us for an hour of discussion about mental illness, plants, and the life of a woman scientist.

Shelley Berman, Josh Elwood, Sheela Gunn-Cushman, Adrienne Lauby and Mark Romoser talk to Ms Jahren, read from her book and entreat listeners to become members of KPFA.

Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; about her bouts with mental illness, and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

At the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend.

Original Air Date: 3-2-18

Posted in Adrienne Lauby, Mark Romoser, Mental Disability, Poetry & Prose, Portraits, Science, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Shelley Berman | Tagged , | | Comments Off on “Lab Girl” with Hope Jahren

Different Geography; Different Disability Experiences

Friday, Feb. 16, 2:30 pm PST

Food, politics and slang.  In the U.SA it seems like these things very greatly between regions. Could the way people perceive those with disabilities also very greatly between areas?

Join us as we explore some of the variations in attitudes that people with disabilities face throughout the USA

Helping us explore this topic will be Karin Willison. Ms. Willison is the creator of Free Wheelin Travel, a blog about travel and disability. On her blog she shares her experiences with access in many U.S. cities and states including Boston, NYC and Indiana.

Dr. Michelle Hernandez also joins us. Dr. Hernandez is a Clinical Psychologist and will be share the attitudinal differences in she notices in traveling the continental U.S. and Hawaii as a Latina with a disability.

So come along as we explore the disability experience outside the Golden Gate!

Produced and Hosted by Jacob Lesnor-Buxton and Sheela Gunn-Cushman.

Posted in Accessibilty, Community, Jacob Lesner-Buxton, Research, resources, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Story Telling - Disability | Tagged , , | | Comments Off on Different Geography; Different Disability Experiences

s.e. smith on Disability

Friday, February 2, 2:30 pm PST on KPFA radio

Writer, agitator, and commentator s.e. smith* joins us for the half hour.   Based in Northern California, s.e. smith has a journalistic focus on social issues, particularly gender, prison reform, disability rights, environmental justice, queerness, class, and the intersections thereof, with a special interest in rural subjects.

s.e. smith has been published in The Guardian, Bitch Magazine, Aljazeera America, AlterNet, Yes! Magazine, Jezebel, Salon, the Sundance Channel blog, Longshot Magazine, Think Progress, xoJane, Truthout, Teen Vogue, Time, Nerve, VICE, The Week, In These Times, Vox, Bustle, the Daily Dot, Rolling Stone, Mic, Rewire and other outlets.

Eddie Ytuarte produced and hosts a discussion of s.e.’s recent writings on disability.

(*smith spells ou’s name in lower case letters; pronoun preference for s.e. is “ou.”)

Let’s Mail Our Remains to Paul Ryan When Trumpcare Kills Us …Griffin notes that, in this instance, cremains may act as protected speech, potentially creating some Constitutional issues— especially if the sender is placed on a government watch list.        s.e. smith, from a recent article in Vice

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Universal Minimum Income & Disability

Friday, Jan. 19, 2:30 pm PST, on KPFA radio

Maybe the way to end poverty is to give poor people money.

The idea of a universal basic income in the U.S. isn’t new. Progressives pushed the concept in the 1960s and 70s, and several other countries have tried local experiments. But, tech industry leaders like Tesla’s Elon Musk have recently taken up the idea and that’s making a buzz.

Many of us in the disability community already live on the basic income called Social Security and SSI.   Today, Mark Romoser, Josh Elwood, Sheela Gunn-Cushman, Eddie Ytuarte and Adrienne Lauby examine this new (old) idea.

Would a universal income produce more volunteers for your organization as those who are beaten down by poverty become activated empowered voting individuals. Or would poor people simply have more isolation and personal loneliness without the necessity to work a series of low-wage jobs? Based on the experience of people who currently live on the fixed income of Social Security our panel takes up this and other issues?

Produced and hosted by Adrienne Lauby with audio editing help from Sheela Gunn-Cushman. Audio engineering by Shelley Berman.

Posted in Adrienne Lauby, Community, Eddie Ytuarte, Josh Elwood, Mark Romoser, Politics, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Shelley Berman, Story Telling - Disability | Tagged , | | Comments Off on Universal Minimum Income & Disability

Cognitive Disabilities

Listen  29 min

An informative program about the distinct disabilities of autism and cognitive disorders with two disability advocates.

Austin Tam will discuss his observations and insights about cognitive disorders and disability in the Asian/Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community.  Tam attended the California Renters Power Assembly and helped organize the “Making the Invisible Visible” Disability Summit in Alameda last year.

Mark Romoser was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4, by the renowned Dr. Leo Kanner. After attending eight different schools and two colleges, he graduated cum laude from Yale in 1985.  Mark has worked with top researchers in the autism field, including Dr. Fred Volkmar at Yale. More recently, Mark has been employed at the Silicon Valley Center for Independent Living, in San Jose, California, as a community advocate. Mark has presented on his personal experience with autism for over twenty-five years and is a member of the Pushing Limits Collective.

Eddie Ytuarte produced and hosts this program.

Air date: 1-5-18
Posted in Accessibilty, Activism, Cognitive Disabilities, Eddie Ytuarte, Mark Romoser, Story Telling - Disability | Tagged , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Cognitive Disabilities