Interdependence with A.J. Withers

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The Independent Living Movement got people out of institutions and inspired many of us to believe we could live without doctors, parents and others defining our lives.  But, no one is completely independent and, while it might feel good to talk about independence, as a final life goal it leaves much to be desired.

Join A.J. Withers of the blog, “If I Can’t Dance, Is It Still My Revolution?” for a discussion of how interdependence is a more accurate description of our lives — and how that works out in the day-to-day.

Produced and hosted by Adrienne Lauby.  Eddie Ytaurte, co-host.

A.J. Withers is a disabled, queer and trans anti-poverty activist living in Toronto.  A proponent of radical disability theory and politics, A.J. is the author of Disability Politics and Theory.

Original air date: 2-3-17


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Summer Camps for People with Disabilities

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Suzanne Stoltz, a many-year participant at a MDA camp, charts the political underbelly of the disability summer camp experience.  

Summer camp for kids is usually perceived as a fun time where participants socialize, play, run, and swim. This includes summer camps dedicated to serving kids with the same or similar disabilities, like those sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).  But, there is more going on than camp songs and meal time hi jinks.  We look at the ways disability camps both support and dis-empower kids with disabilities.

Suzanne Stolz, Ed.D. serves as the Academic Coordinator of the Online M.Ed. and as faculty for the program’s Universal Design for Learning and Inclusive Education specialization, University of San Diego.

Suzanne contributed an article about her experiences in an essay which appeared in Disability Politics in a Global Economy; Essays in Honor of Marta Russell, edited by Ravi Malhotra. Her essay was called “Disability Community, Policy, Care and Empowerment: ‘Growing Up’ at MDA Camp and the Shaky Social Contract.”

Produced and hosted by Eddie Ytuarte.

Original air date: January 20, 2017

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Donna Williams on Autism

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In the 1960s ‘autism’ was deemed ‘childhood psychosis’ and the incidence of autism was thought to be around 4 in 10,000 children.   Today, up to 1 in 88 children are presently diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

Polly Samuel, aka Donna Williams, was central to these changes and became a beacon to many in the autism community.  Her brilliant early books, Nobody Nowhere and Somebody Somewhere were among the first to talk about life from the perspective of someone living with autism.  Written in the early 1990s, they became international best sellers.

An accomplished painter, sculptor and musician, Polly Samuel has written 16 books.  She’s spent much of her life consulting, lecturing and helping build the autistic community.  With a diagnosis of terminal metastatic breast cancer, Polly has severely limited her public appearances.  We are proud to announce this rare opportunity to hear from this wise and most articulate disability pioneer.

Produced and hosted by Mark Romoser and Adrienne Lauby.

Original air date: January 6, 2017

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A Look Ahead – 2017

Listen 28 min

The New Year is upon us and 2017 does not look all charming and bright.  Like others
of good will, the disability community is scrambling to adjust to the new president.

We’re applying advice from former Congressional staffers (and that guy we know down the street.)  We’re talking about organizing ourselves more tightly like Alameda’s Senior Services Coalition has done.   We’re looking for better ways to make alliances with other groups.  We’re laughing as much as we possibly can.  We’re overwhelmed, but hopeful.

We talk about all of this and more on today’s program.  Co-Hosts Sheela Gunn-Cushman and Mark Romoser are in conversation with Oakland disability and senior rights advocate Michelle Rousey.

Original air date: December 30, 2016

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Anne Finger: Soviet Eugenics (Marta Russell Part 2)

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Modern genetics offers parents the dream of choosing the characteristics of their children and aborting those who don’t fit their ideal.  As scientists move in this direction, disabled people are understandably critical.  They cite, for instance, the strong historical link between genetics and eugenics.

In this program, Oakland writer Anne Finger explores these issues with Eddie Ytuarte through the lens of eugenics in the Soviet Union.

Ms. Finger’s tells stories of a variety of unusual characters seeking real or supposed scientific truth amid the maelstrom of gigantic changes occurring in Russia before, during, and following the October 1917 Revolution.  Her essay, “The Left Hand of Stalin: Eugenics in the Soviet Union,” appears in the volume, “Disability Politics in a Global Economy: Essays in Honour of Marta Russell.”

In Nazi Germany the theory of eugenics brought the world the ideal of the perfect Aryan race.  This led to the round up and death of 275 thousand people with disabilities and, eventually, the death chambers of the holocaust.

Eugenic theory took a different tack in the Soviet Union where the goal was, not the perfection of a specific race, but the perfection of humanity as a whole.   There was early USSR resistance to the Darwinian theory of “survival of the fittest,” Finger says, citing early scientists who found that, in the harsh Siberian climate “sociability is as much a law of nature as mutual struggle.”

Join us for an in-depth look at eugenic-genetic questions.

Produced and hosted by Eddie Ytuarte.

Original Air Date: Dec 2, 2016

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Remembering Marta Russell (1951-2013) Part 1

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A discussion in memory of the late activist author Marta Russell with interviews with Steve Weiss and Ravi Malhotra.

Russell is especially noted for her book Beyond Ramps: Disability at the End of the Social Contract, which offered a leftist analysis on how disability intersects with capitalism and includes topics like the Americans With Disability Act, health care, and the prison industrial complex.

Weiss, an activist now living in Portland, Oregon, was the long-time companion of Russell.  Malhotra is a professor at Ottawa University and edited a recently released collection of essays called Disability Politics in a Global Economy: Essays in honor of Marta Russell.

The contributions were written by leftist writers reflecting on Marta Russell’s analysis in “Beyond Ramps.”

Produced and hosted by Eddie Ytuarte.

Original air date: Nov. 18, 2016

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Maytte Bustillos: Living with Brain Cancer

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Maytte Bustillos was given two years to live after the discovery of a cancerous tumor in her brain (Oligodendroglioma).  Now, seven years and three craniotomies later, she talks to Shelley Berman about her fitness routine, mothering a child with a heart problem and dealing with the daily limitations of disability.

With California Ballot Measure analysis by Shelley Berman. 

Produced and hosted by Shelley Berman


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SuperFest – Amputees, Audio Description

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Today we talk movies with Ross Turnbull the creator and director of Terminal Device, a feature film inquiring into the way “hooks” are represented in movies. As a life-long amputee who uses a prosthetic hook, Ross Turnbull has been impacted personally by the stereotype of a villain with a hook.  His movie takes a thoughtful look at these pop culture images.

Alex Locust, also an amputee, is with us too.  He’s one of the organizers of this weekend’s Superfest Disability Film Festival as well as an assistant at the Paul Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State.

Superfest Disability Film Festival

Saturday, Oct 21 1 pm and 6 pm showings
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley
Sunday, Oct 23: 1 pm
The Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street, San Francisco

We hear clips from “Terminal Device” and discuss some of the ways audio description is being integrated into popular movies.

For more information about audio description, including lists of current audio-described movies showing in theaters, DVDs, and streaming options, check out this amazing website provided by the American Council of the Blind.

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

Original air date:  10-21-16



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2016 Election, Disability Issues

With Eddie Ytuarte, Mark Romoser, Edie Halburg of the Peace and Freedom Party and Community Callers.


Original air date: Oct 10, 2016

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Marcel “Fable the Poet” Price

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Transcript here.

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

original air date: 9-30-16

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