Podcast Brunch Club

Community Responses to Disability: Podcast Playlist

It is estimated that one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. Over the years, there has been some progress in recognizing the importance of accessibility and inclusion. But our governments and workplaces and communities still have much work to do to embrace and empower people with disabilities. This month’s episodes look at different types of community responses to disability (some more helpful than others) in hopes that we learn more about what we can do to increase inclusivity for all. 

(This listening list was curated by Sarah from the Baltimore chapter of Podcast Brunch Club)

Podcast Listening List on Community Responses to Disability

Download the complete playlist to your podcast player of choice:
Listen Notes | Podchaser

The Memory Palace – Outliers (9 minutes, March 2018)
This episode of the Memory Palace, hosted by Nate Dimeo, examines the exploitative practice of placing people with special needs on display at freak shows and side shows. The episode notes that decades ago, this practice was often one of the only ways people with disabilities could earn income.
Listen: Apple Podcasts | Google Play 

99% Invisible – Curb Cuts (45 minutes, May 2018)
If you live in an American city and you don’t personally use a wheelchair, it’s easy to overlook the small ramp at most intersections, between the sidewalk and the street. Today, these curb cuts are everywhere, but fifty years ago–when an activist named Ed Roberts was young–most urban corners featured a sharp drop-off, making it difficult for wheelchair users to get between blocks without assistance.
Listen: Apple Podcasts | Google Play

Joyriding in Autismland – Andrew Solomon (21 minutes, February 2014) 
Andrew Solomon’s book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, explores ideas of abilities, disabilities, illness, and identities in extraordinary children born to ordinary parents. His book represents a decade of researching and interviewing parents raising kids with Down Syndrome, autism, and schizophrenia.
Listen: Apple Podcasts

She and Her – Disability is Her Beat (15 minutes, June 2018)
Wendy Lu was born with vocal cord paralysis, and for the first 22 years of her life she always had a caretaker around. In 2015, she moved to New York City alone to pursue her dream of becoming a big-time journalist. Meet Wendy Lu. 
Listen: Apple Podcasts

PBC Podcast Episodes covering Community Responses to Disability podcast playlist

Conversation Starter Questions

  1. Discuss the kinds of discrimination people with disabilities faced in the past and how they compare to today.
  2. How have community responses to disability evolved over the years? What has improved? What still needs improvement?
  3. What are some of the frustrations and challenges that people with disabilities still deal with today?
  4. How can we motivate communities and governments to improve their support and empowerment of people with disabilities?
  5. Are your Podcast Brunch Club meetups accessible? Are there adjustments you can make to improve accessibility?


  • Laura Lane says:

    I have not had a chance to listen to the podcast list for this month but happen to have a relevant topic of discussion. I’m not able to attend my local meetup this month as I have a scheduling conflict. However, I would like to add a topic of discussion if possible. Service animals and emotional support animals are becoming a hot topic. I personally have just started my own personal fight against discrimination against someone with a disability requesting an emotional support animal. Oddly enough, this is something that you can register a complaint with HUD for under the Fair Housing Act. Unfortunately, with the government shutdown I am forced to find an attorney and pay for my fight. This makes me wonder about ADA issues and coverage for those impacted during the shutdown. Just some things to think about and discuss.

    • Adela says:

      Thanks, Laura! You bring up some great points about service animals and emotional support animals. If you have any resources to share about how to lodge a complaint to HUD, feel free to share them. I’m sure others would appreciate it.

  • Laura Lane says:

    Here is the link to start a housing discrimination complaint in Florida. You can start a complaint in Florida but it eventually goes through HUD. From my experience, you need legal advice to navigate these types of situations. Low income individuals can qualify for pro bono work in Florida. If you do not qualify for pro bono, you are basically on your own to fund legal representation. The complaint process probably also takes some time. I only know how things work in Florida. Some states have enacted their own statutes to address these issues but others have opted to defer to Federal law. Here is the link I referenced. https://fchr.myflorida.com/fair-housing

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