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Disability Rap – May 3, 2021

Little People of America and California State Politics with CFILC’s Dan Okenfuss

Dan Okenfuss, the Public Policy Manager at the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC), joins us this month to discuss his extensive career in California state politics, as well as his leadership in Little People of America (LPA). He also tells us about starting a family with the help of LPA’s adoption program.

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Disability Rap – April 5, 2021

LGBTQ and disability intersections with Andi Mudryk

To mark International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31), we spend today’s show with Andi Mudryk, the Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation. For over thirty years, Andi has been advocating for policies, programs, and legislation that benefit the lives of people with disabilities. She is a person with a disability who has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, commonly known as Brittle Bone Disorder. Andi has been a member of the LGBTQ community for 35 years and has recently found the courage to come out as a transgender woman. She talks to us about growing up in a multigenerational disabled family and about the process she went through to accept her sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Disability Rap – March 1, 2021

Vaccine Advocacy

On today’s show, we look at the movement here in California to grant people with significant disabilities priority access to the Covid-19 vaccine. Studies show that people with certain physical or developmental disabilities are up to three times more likely to die from Covid-19 as compared to the general population. And yet, it wasn’t until February 12 that Governor Newsom announced that people with significant disabilities and people who have underlying health conditions will be eligible to receive the vaccine in California. And this eligibility isn’t even effective until March 15. The announcement was made only after massive outcry and a massive mobilization campaign by people with disabilities in the state.

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Disability Rap – January 4, 2021

Hospitalization During the Coronavirus Pandemic

On today’s show, we look at one disabled person’s experience being admitted into a hospital here in California this fall. His name is John Pixley. He was admitted into the hospital for four days this past October for something totally unrelated to the coronavirus. Despite prior assurances to the contrary, the hospital refused to allow his personal care attendants to be with him in the hospital. The reason given was Covid-19. John describes the experience as “unbearable, almost torturous,” and “inhumane.”

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Disability Rap – November 2, 2020

An Election Eve Special!

This Monday, November 2, on Disability Rap, an Election Eve Special! Rebecca Cokley of the Center for American Progress Action Fund talks to us about the disabled community’s increasing political power in the United States. She also tells us about her own journey growing up in a multigenerational disabled family. We then hear both Presidential campaigns’ speeches to the Disability & Election Virtual Summit, where they present their disability platforms. We end the show with an announcement about Medicare’s Open Enrollment period, which continues through December 7.

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Disability Rap – October 19, 2020

Special Broadcast: Nevada County’s Education Workshop for Voters with Disabilities

On today’s show, we bring you extended excerpts of Nevada County’s Education Workshop for Voters with Disabilities. This workshop took place via Zoom this past Friday, October 16, and was open to the public. The workshop was hosted by Jaime Melugin from the Nevada County Elections Department. She was joined by our co-host, Carl Sigmond, who is FREED’s Disability Community Advocate, Mark Fenicle, Chair of the FREED Board of Directors, and Paul Spencer and Jason Connor from Disability Rights California.

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Disability Rap – October 12, 2020

Special Broadcast: Part II of Disproportional Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on People with Disabilities

Last week, we brought you part one of our conversation on the disproportional effects the coronavirus pandemic is having on people with disabilities and older adults. This week, we are bringing you part two. We spoke with Monet Clark, a healer and eco-feminist performance based video and photographic artist right here in Nevada City, Meg O’Connell, Founder and CEO of Global Disability Inclusion, Dr. Leonard Abbeduto, Director of the MIND Institute at UC Davis, and Denny Chan, a Senior Staff Attorney at Justice in Aging. We recorded this conversation on September 21, right as we reached the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths from Covid-19 here in the United States. We started part two of the conversation by asking Denny to talk about the crisis standard of care guidelines here in California.

This is Part II of this conversation. Click here to listen to Part I.

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Disability Rap – October 5, 2020

Part I of Disproportional Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on People with Disabilities

As the number of coronavirus cases in the US tops 6.8 million and the number of deaths from Covid-19 tops 200,000, we spend today’s show looking at the disproportionate effects the pandemic is having on older adults and people with disabilities. We’ve all heard the harrowing stories in the media about some of the early coronavirus hotspots being nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, but we wanted to go deeper. According to the CDC, 94% of people who died from Covid-19 in the US had at least one other health condition or contributing cause of death. What does that mean for the disability community and for older adults?

This is Part I of this conversation. Part II will be released next Monday.