Disability Rap banner logo

Disability Rap – August 7, 2023

Embodied Inclusion with Andrew Golibersuch

Today, we’re joined by Andrew Golibersuch, an artist, activist, dancer, and founder of Embodied Inclusion, a project designed to help organizations, communities, and institutions become more inclusive and welcoming to all. In our interview, Andrew shares his journey as a disabled dancer and how his experiences in dance led him to create his Embodied Inclusion workshops, where participants learn what each of us needs to feel comfortable inhabiting space with themselves and others. Andrew is a mental health counselor and art therapist based in western Massachusetts.

Click here to listen to the broadcast version of this interview and/or read the transcript.

Disability Rap banner logo

Disability Rap – July 3, 2023

Greg Marshall’s Discovery of His ‘Leg’

Today, we’re joined by someone who has had cerebral palsy since he was born, but no one ever told him that he had CP or even that he had a disability. It was not until Greg Marshall was in his early thirties and applying for private health insurance for the first time that he learned, through a review of childhood medical records, that he actually had cerebral palsy. Up until that point, he just thought he had tight tendons, which was the line his parents used to explain why his feet and legs didn’t work like other kids his age.

Click here to listen to the broadcast version of this interview and/or read the transcript.

The audio and transcript of an extended version of our interview with Greg Marshall is available here.

Disability Rap banner logo

Disability Rap – June 5, 2023

Life with a Traumatic Brain Injury

Here at FREED we’ve recently restarted our Traumatic Brain Injury program, and while providing those services and supports in the community, we began hearing more and more stories about life with a TBI. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, 1 in 60 Americans are living with a permanent brain injury, and 2.8 million TBIs occur every year in the United States alone, and while there are common experiences among those living with TBI, we know – like all disabilities – their journeys are as unique as the people living them.

Today we are joined by Barb Foy and Calvina McEndree, who both live with TBIs to share their experiences of having a TBI, how it shapes their present and their outlook on the future.

Click here to listen to the show and/or read the transcript.

Disability Rap banner logo

Disability Rap – May 1, 2023

Ryan Prior on the Covid-19 ‘Long Haul’

As the death toll from Covid-19 quickly rose throughout the United States and around the world in early 2020, many health officials, politicians, and media personalities had one clear message about those who contracted Covid-19: For those who didn’t die from the infection, it would be a simple respiratory illness and patients would fully recover in a matter of weeks. But for millions of people around the world, they didn’t fully recover after contracting SARS-Co-V-2; their symptoms lasted for months or years, often with no signs of easing up. This was not well understood by the medical community, and so it was patients who banded together, often online, to support each other and raise awareness of a condition that they themselves termed, “Long Covid.”

This is the subject of a new book by our guest today, Ryan Prior. In The Long Haul: Solving the Puzzle of the Pandemic’s Long Haulers and How They Are Changing Healthcare Forever, Ryan documents the journey that people with Long Covid embarked on to advocate for recognition and understanding of this new condition in the medical community. He also shows how that advocacy was influenced heavily by those with another condition called myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS. Writing from personal experience as someone who developed ME/CFS in high school, Ryan presents the similarities between ME and Long Covid, how they are both generally misunderstood by the medical profession, and how patients themselves were often on the front lines of understanding their own conditions and educating their doctors. He also connects these patient-led movements to the Disability Rights Movement of the 1970s and 80s and continuing today, and encourages the movements to unite around common goals.

Ryan Prior is currently a journalist-in-residence at The Century Foundation. He has been a health and science writer for CNN since 2015 and has also written for The Guardian, the Daily Beast, USA Today, STAT News, and Business Insider.

Click here to listen to the show and/or read the transcript.

Disability Rap banner logo

Disability Rap – March 6, 2023

Self-Acceptance and Inclusion: A National Disability Awareness Month Special

We mark National Disability Awareness Month by chatting with our FREED colleagues about the journey of self-acceptance as people with disabilities and the pride they feel as part of the disability community. Our guests share what it means to have disability pride in a world where we are still fighting for awareness and inclusion, and they discuss the importance of people with disabilities supporting each other. We’re joined by Brian Snyder, FREED’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Lindsay Wells, our Information and Referral Specialist, and Jennique Lee, the Program Manager for our Yuba City office. We also mark the passing of legendary disability rights activist Judy Heumann, who died on Saturday at the age of 75.

Click here to listen to the show and/or read the transcript.

Disability Rap banner logo

Disability Rap – January 2, 2023

Social Security Increases and Medi-Cal Expansion

In October, the Social Security Administration announced that it would institute an 8.7 percent increase in all Social Security cash benefits and Supplemental Security Income. This cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, which takes effect this month, is meant to counter the soaring cost of everyday expenses due to inflation. For people on fixed income, as many people who receive Social Security or SSI are, this increase will help them continue to put food on their table and pay their bills. This is Social Security’s largest COLA increase since 1981 and it will impact over 72 million Americans.

This got us thinking about other government benefit programs here in California that are either increasing benefits and services for people with disabilities and older adults or expanding eligibility criteria to enable more people to qualify.

Click here to listen to the show and/or read the transcript.

Disability Rap banner logo

Disability Rap – December 5, 2022

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the First Center for Independent Living

On today’s show, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Independent Living Center in the world, founded in 1972 by UC Berkeley students. Joe Xavier, Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation, tells us how California is leading the way in creating a more accessible, equitable workforce, and why that matters to people with disabilities across the state. Former US Congressmember Tony Coelho talks about how growing up with a disability led him to sponsor the ADA. And we hear voices from the Independent Living Street Festival in Berkeley on October 22.

Click here to listen to the show and/or read the transcript.

Disability Rap banner logo

Disability Rap – November 7, 2022

Samuel Habib’s ‘My Disability Roadmap’

Transitioning from high school to adulthood is a big deal – even more so for young people with disabilities. Not content with merely trailblazing an accessible future, Samuel Habib decided to create a documentary film about his journey. On today’s show, we hear from Samuel and his co-director, Dan Habib, about their film, My Disability Roadmap, and their hopes for the future.

Click here to listen to the show and/or read the transcript.

Disability Rap banner logo

Disability Rap – October 3, 2022

Voting Access Across the Country

With the midterm elections five weeks away, we spend today’s show looking at voting access for people with disabilities across the country. People with disabilities make up one fifth of the US population, or roughly 66 million people, and yet only 17.7 million people with disabilities voted in this country in 2020. While that was a significant increase over 2016, we wanted to find out what some of the main barriers are that people with disabilities face when trying to exercise our right to vote. We’ll look right here in California and also look at Texas and Wisconsin, where recent laws and court orders have restricted access to the ballot box for voters with disabilities.