8 disability podcasts worth listening to

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There is at least one relatively new way for people with disabilities to connect with a larger disability community almost everywhere, and that is the Disability Podcast.

So many people with disabilities still lack access to the information, ideas and culture shared by more connected members of the disability community. And until fairly recently, people with disabilities with something to share had little opportunity to do it on a meaningful scale.

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The internet has made a difference for both groups – those who seek a community of people with disabilities and those who want to help create it. Social media, blogging, and the growth of journalism and publishing in the disability community have added more ways to connect. Podcasting offers people with disabilities a unique and particularly rewarding way to gain information, emotional enrichment and a more personal sense of connection, all from their own homes and devices.

Podcasting is not fully accessible to everyone in all cases. But overall, the barriers to participation are low and are gradually decreasing. You only need a few things to listen.

The main thing you need is a computer, tablet or smartphone connected to the Internet. Most people use specially designed apps to organize and listen to podcasts on mobile devices. But most podcasts also create their episodes right on websites, where listening is as easy as clicking a play button.

Creating your own podcast involved a bit more investment, but is still relatively simple and inexpensive given the potential impact.

You can start a podcast with a simple smartphone, tablet, or standard computer. Most of them include internal microphones and a basic sound editing app. If you want to improve sound quality, you can invest in better external microphones, headphones, and more sophisticated editing tools. A lot of people start their podcasts with the basics and upgrade the equipment later once they confirm they have an audience and want to keep going. Especially dedicated listeners can even make donations to help pay for equipment upgrades.

So what do disability podcasts offer people with disabilities and others interested in disability issues and culture?

Above all, podcasting is a relatively easy way to bring people with disabilities together to virtually discuss disability issues and share the conversations widely. It’s certainly easier and more accessible than walking hundreds of miles to meet a few other disabled people that interest you, or thousands of miles to attend a large convention. For some people with disabilities, listening to a podcast on disability issues is more accessible than visiting a disability organization or service provider in their own city.

And although buying a computer or mobile device and internet access costs money that many cannot afford, even people with relatively low incomes can now afford a basic smartphone. with a manageable mobile phone service plan.

Before we dive into the small but growing world of disability podcasts, here are a few things to look for in a podcast:

  • Is it hosted and developed by people with disabilities themselves?
  • Does he regularly release episodes?
  • Are there noticeable and coherent themes, topics and tone of discussion?
  • Is the overall quality good? Is it a pleasure to listen to?
  • Is it interesting and entertaining enough to attract you and make you want to to listen, rather than just feel should Listen?
  • Are written transcripts provided to make it accessible to the hearing impaired?

Once you have a device to listen to, you can start with a simple search. Type “disability podcasts” into your browser, or just “handicap” or “disabled” into your podcast app’s search function.

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If you want a little more than raw search results, here are brief profiles of 8 disability podcasts to get you started:

The accessible stall

Website: The Accessible Stall

  • Hosted by Emily Ladau and Kyle Khachadurian – @emily_ladau and @ImNotKardashian
  • 95 episodes, the first in April 2016, the last in May 2021.
  • Informal conversations and friendly discussions on topics of light and heavy daily disability, with two good friends with disabilities who often have different views on disability issues.
  • Good episode to start: Episode 87: Handicap Etiquette
  • Transcriptions included.

The disability visibility podcast

Website: Visibility Project on People with Disabilities

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  • Hosted by Alice Wong – @DisVisability
  • 100 episodes, the first in September 2017, the last in April 2021.
  • In-depth interviews and discussions with leaders and creators of the disability community, on disability identity, culture, activism and politics, with a focus on the intersections between disability and disability. race, gender, sexuality and other marginalized identities.
  • Good episode to start: Episode 21: Disabled Comedians
  • Transcriptions included.

Barrier-Free Futures Podcast

Website: KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio

  • Hosted by Bob Kafka
  • Over 300 weekly episodes, the first in February 2015, the last in June 2021.
  • Interviews with disability activists and other people with disabilities in the disability community, on current issues, history and experiences of disability.
  • Good episode to start: April 11, 2020 Crip Camp
  • Shows released after December 2020 have transcripts.

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Up to the struts

Website: Up to the struts

Power no mercy

Website: Power Not Pity

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Included: The Disability Equity Podcast

Website: Johns Hopkins Center for Disability Health Research

  • Hosted by Bonnielin Swenor, Ph.D. and Nick Reed – @BonnieSwenorPhD and @NickSReed
  • 17 episodes, the first in October 2020, the last in June 2021.
  • Discussions and interviews aimed at challenging ableist stereotypes and better understanding trends in disability policies and issues.
  • Good episode to start: Episode 13: Disability Data
  • Transcriptions included.

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Disability after dark

Website: Wheels on The Ground Productions and Andrew Gurza

Ouch! … the cabin fever podcast

Website: BBC Radio

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  • Hosted by Beth Rose, Emma Tracey, Keiligh Baker and Kate Monaghan
  • Hundreds of episodes dating back to at least April 2015 in the current format, and similar content from previous years, are available on the BBC website. The most recent episode dates from June 2021.
  • “Ouch! From the BBC The podcast in one form or another may be the first true podcast on disability. It covers a wide range of disability issues, often more than one topic in each episode. Its reach is global, but with a focus on the UK.
  • Good episode to start: May 2, 2019: “I realized that not everyone has to be a Paralympian”
  • Transcriptions included.

Start with what interests you most and go from there. Subscribe to the ones you love, listen to new episodes when they release, and explore their latest episodes to see how each podcast has grown.

Finally, feel free to reach out and engage with disabled podcasters. While podcasts are more like radio shows than face-to-face meetings, they are meant to be interactive. Let these disabled creators know that you are listening and appreciating their work. Sincere feedback helps keep these programs free and incredibly valuable. It also encourages the development of more disability podcasts, which is a victory for the entire disability community.

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