Hearing Loss with Punk Rocker, Kathy Peck

Listen (29 min)

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

Posted in Adaptive Aids, Community, Deaf, Disability Organizations, Josh Elwood, Mark Romoser, Music, Research, Sheela Gunn Cushman, Story Telling - Disability | Tagged , , , , | | Comments Off on Hearing Loss with Punk Rocker, Kathy Peck

Independence 2018

Listen (29 min)

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

Listen (29 min)

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

Listen  (29 min)

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

Posted in Adrienne Lauby, analysis & commentary, Community, Developmental Disability, Economics, Josh Elwood, Mark Romoser, Story Telling - Disability, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | | Comments Off on “Bottom Dollars” How 250K U.S. People with Disabilities Work for $2 an Hour

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 KPFA.org

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, RogerEbert.com, 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.”

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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.  evv@dss.ca.gov 

Some of us will be taking the train. For transportation assistance please contact Marissa marissas66@yahoo.com.

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