Telling Our Disability Stories: The ATC Podcast

Telling Our Disability Stories is a podcast series featuring interviews with influential and interesting people with disabilities. The interviews are the real, barely sanitized, non-tragic, non-triumphant, and always proud insiders' perspective on the disability experience.

Our host for this series is Anthony Tusler. Tusler is a writer, consultant, trainer, and advocate on disability issues. He was the founding Director of the Disability Resource Center at Sonoma State University for 22 years. He helped to launch a number of nonprofits including the Institute on Alcohol, Drugs, and Disability; Community Resources for Independence; Disability Associates; and the National Center on Disability and Journalism. Read more about Anthony on his website, About Disability.

Individual episodes are available below or you can subscribe to the podcast:

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Josie Byzek

Josie Byzek photoJosie Byzek is the Managing Editor for New Mobility, the magazine for the active wheelchair user. New Mobility is a lifestyle, monthly magazine focused on wheelchair users and other disabled people’s lives. Josie has worked at the magazine since 2000. She is particularly interested in empowerment, body image and domestic abuse. Before New Mobility she was a disability advocate at the Pennsylvania Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities, and the Three Rivers Center for Independent Living.

Josie Byzek: download mp3 file


Megan O'Neil

Megan O'Neil photoMegan O’Neil is a consultant who focuses on disability and economic development. A 2006 Hearne Award Honoree, Megan was the Access to Assets Project Coordinator at the World Institute on Disability. As a recognized expert on asset building for people with disabilities, she advocates for reform of Social Security regulations, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Currently she is Chair of the board of directors of the Woodstock Institute, a non-profit advancing economic security and community prosperity. She is a PhD student in Community Economic Development at Southern New Hampshire University.

Megan O'Neil: download mp3 file


Amanda Cachia

Amanda Cachia photoAmanda Cachia is a free lance, fine arts curator from Sydney, Australia. She has organized exhibitions focusing on social justice issues including disability. Recently she selected and organized “Medusa’s Mirror: Fears, Spells & Other Transfixed Positions” for Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland. The show included 8 artists challenging the able-bodied gaze on the disabled subject. Among her upcoming shows Laura Swanson and Corban Walker works will be at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College, MA from October 29 – December 15, 2012. She will be presenting a lecture on the works and disability influences of Chuck Close at the de Young Museum, October 13, 2012. Also, Cachia is the Chair of the Dwarf Artists Coalition for the Little People of America.

Amanda Cachia: download mp3 file


Stella Young

Stella Young is a comedian, disability advocate and Editor of the ABC (Australia) Ramp Up, the online space for news, discussion and opinion about disability in Australia. She was a two-time state finalist in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Raw Comedy competition; and has hosted eight seasons of Australia’s first disability culture program No Limits. If she could get away with it, she’d spend a very large percentage of her spare time knitting.

Stella Young: download mp3 file


Rahnee Patrick

Rahnee Patrick photoRahnee Patrick is the Director of Independent Living at Access Living in Chicago. Access Living is one of the preeminent independent living centers in the country. At Access Living she addresses equal educational access for students with disabilities in Chicago Public Schools and the holistic well being of youth with disabilities which include their self-esteem, sexual health, and the development of leadership and self-advocacy. She graduated from Indiana University, where she co-founded Students Together Able and Respected (STAAR), comprised of disabled students. Today she is an organizer in the direct action group ADAPT and committed civil disobedience innumerous times. She conceived the ADAPT Youth Summit and was the recipient of the 2008 Paul Hearne Award of the American Association of People with Disabilities. She and her husband Mike Ervin live in downtown Chicago with their dog Rosita.

Rahnee Patrick: download mp3 file


Maysoon Zayid

Maysoon Zaid photoMaysoon Zayid is, among other things, a comedian, an actor, a humanitarian, and a disabled Palestinian American. She founded the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and Maysoon’s Kids, a scholarship and wellness program for disabled and wounded refugee children and orphans. She headlined with the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour. Most recently she is a commentator on Keith Olbermann's "Countdown." To learn more, visit Maysoon's website or follow Maysoon on Twitter.

Maysoon Zaid: download mp3 file


Bethany Stevens

Bethany Stevens photoBethany Stevens is a professor and researcher in disability leadership and sexuality. She was awarded the 2011 Irving K. Zola award for an emerging scholar in Disability Studies by the Society for Disability Studies. Her paper, “Interrogating Transability: A Catalyst to View Disability as Body Art,” explores able-bodied people passing as disabled. Learn more on her blog, Crip Confessions.

Bethany Stevens: download mp3 file  or View transcript


Jim Ferris

Jim Ferris photoJim Ferris is a critically-acclaimed and nationally-recognized poet. In 2004, his poetry book "The Hospital Poems" won the Main Street Rag Book Award. A former newspaper reporter, television producer, and gas station pump jockey, Ferris has won awards for his teaching as well as his writing.

Jim Ferris: download mp3 file or View transcript