Disability Radio World Wide

With Jean Parker

Disability Radio Worldwide is a dynamic, 30-minute weekly program broadcast by FM stations, radio reading services, over the Internet, and on shortwave radio. The weekly broadcasts originate from Radio for Peace International in Costa Rica.

Weekly programs are distributed in the United States by the Pacifica Radio Network and can be heard on many local Pacifica affiliates. Broadcast outlets are added periodically so check here frequently for up-dated information. This website also contains a full Program Catalog with program descriptions here.

 Disability Radio Worldwide creator, producer and host, Jean Parker is a well-known disability rights activist with years of experience working in the movement. Jean's list of program guests reads like a "Who's Who" of the disability community leadership around the globe. Almost all of the guests on Disability Radio Worldwide are people with disabilities and experts in their field(s), discussing the full spectrum of issues related to advancing the human rights of people with disabilities around the world.

Disability Radio Worldwide is packaged for upcoming conferences, disability studies curricula, support groups, peer support training, research and policy development, community organizing, and more.  Program cassettes are also available for purchase. Contact the producer, Jean Parker at info@rfpi.org

The following programs are available in the RealAudio format:

165. Jan Blacher --The history of how families of people with intellectual disabilities were treated by the medical and social work professions reveals a great deal about how these families and their disabled members were viewed by society. Jan Blacher of the University of California, Riverside, has written a book about how families of intellectually disabled people were depicted in research from 1887 until the present. Her collection of papers demonstrates how much influence academic research has in every day life and how attitudes of the researchers can effect the daily lives of research subjects.

163. Linda Montgomery -- Before losing her vision, Linda Montgomery was a successful nature photographer. Her new book called Silent Strength combines the pictures she took when she could see with the poetry she has written since becoming blind. Combining medical science with her spiritual beliefs makes her story of transition to disability unique and enlightening. 

162. Eric Rosenthal 2 -- Since the war in Kosovo, mental trauma has become an enormous problem for the mostly displaced population. Eric Rosenthal is the director of Mental Disability Rights International. Their recent study on conditions of the mentally ill in Kosovo indicates that the NGO’s working in the area view warehousing people in massive institutions as the only alternative. No attention has been given to the possibility of people with mental illness living in the community and during this period of reconstruction it is vital that policy changes allowing more choices be enacted. 

161. A Passion for Art --This documentary produced by Sandra Slade-Brennon tells the story of how developmentally disabled people are using their artistic tallent to develop skills and earn money. 

160. Memorial Program -- In the summer of 2002, the international disability rights movement lost three important leaders. Maria Rantho of South Africa was the first person with a disability to serve in that country’s parliament, Henry Enns of Canada played an instrumental role in forming Disabled Peoples’ International, and Justin Dart of the United States traveled the world advocating for disability rights. In this program we will revisit these three individuals from interviews in the archives of Disability Radio Worldwide.

159. Shanor Forbes and Ranjana Kulkarni -- Many women in India who acquire a disability after they are married are abandoned by their husbands. Sometimes they also lose their children but the two women in this program are proof that it doesn’t have to be that way. Shanor Forbes and Ranjana Kulkarni are both wives, mothers and quadriplegic. Also, they both chose to return to their native India where accessibility is still a far off dream

158. Education and Disability in South Africa -- This program with Damian Zane of Bush Radio in Cape Town South Africa features a demonstration by deaf children and adults confronting the inferior education and lack of opportunities for deaf people in South Africa.  Also, the debate over mainstream versus separate education from a South African perspective, and how children with communication difficulties can use augmentative communication methods.

157.  Bhargavi Davar -- India made news headlines around the world when a fire broke out in a facility for people with mental illness.  27 of the residents were burned alive because they were chained to their beds and to each other.  Bhagavi Davar is an advocate for the mentally ill in India.  In this program, she explains the conditions and government policies that allowed this tragedy to happen.

156.  Wilburt Williams -- Life for disabled people is changing in Jamaica where Wilburt Williams is the Managing Director of the Abilities Foundation. They provide training and job placement for people with all types of disabilities. This program is about Jamaica's reality and politics from the disability perspective.

152.  Jonathan Mooney--Jonathan Mooney has a learning disability, didn't learn to read until he was 12, and graduated with honors from Brown University, a prestigious, ivy-league college in the United States.  His first book Learning Outside the Lines: Two Ivy-League Students with Learning Disabilities Give You the Tools for Academic Success and Educational Revolution," by Jonathan Mooney and David Cole, is the story of what it was like to be labeled the "stupid, crazy kid," and the techniques he has used to succeed academically, and in life.

151.  Andy Potok--Adjustment to any disability can include anger, denial and finally acceptance.  Andy Potok was starting to be noticed as a professional painter when he began to lose his vision.  His latest book "A Matter of Dignity: Changing the Lives of the Disabled," is about the people working behind the scenes to enhance independence of people with disabilities.  But the book is also about Andy Potok himself because it is through his own writing about disability that Potok has learned about his own disability experience.

150.  Rehmat Fazelbhoy--Remat Fazelbhoy and her three sisters were born albino, meaning that their skin, hair and eyes had no pigmentation.  In 1920's India, having albinism with its visual impairment, white skin and hair set them apart from their society and their family.  In this program, Remat Fazelbhoy explains how she became educated in spite of the prejudice around her and introduced many of the techniques of integrated education for people with disabilities that are still used in India today.

149. Dr. Federico Montero--Costa Rica's disability rights mactivists are on the move.  In December of 2001, the first presidential candidates debate on disability issues was held.  Disability rights activists believe that not enough is being done by the Costa Rican government to implement the 1996 Equal Opportunity Law for Persons with Disabilities.  Marches and demonstrations are being held accordingly.  Dr. Federico Montero is a leader in Costa Rica's disability rights movement and he explains how the movement plans to make change.

148.  Dr. Joseph Varghese--Dr. Joseph Varghese grew up in a small village in southern India.  In 1938 at the age of 5, he became blind as a result of typhoid. He credits his mother with having the common sense and intuition to teach him to be as independent as possible.  Ee went on to have a varied and successful career long before the advantages of technology and computers.  In this program, Varghese compares ideas and realities of independence from western and Indian perspectives.

147. Margaret Orach--Since the International Campaign to Ban Landmines won the Nobel Peace Prize, we hear more in the news reports about the victims/survivors of landmines.  But the people who are the most devastated by them are the one's we hear about the least, women and children.  Margaret Orach became an amputee in 1998 in her native Uganda.  A landmine blew apart the van she was traveling in.  In this program she tells us about her own experience as a woman landmine survivor and about those of other women whose stories need to be told

141.  Erik Weihenmayer Part A and Part B--On May 15th, 2001,  Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind person ever to climb to the summit of Mount Everest.  In this 2 part program he explains how he made this accomplishment and the experience and philosophy that made it possible.

140. Farhat Rehman--Women who have disabilities are among the poorest and most pollitically marginalized people in the world.  However, they are also among the most resourceful.  Farhat Rehman facilitates a group called Promotion of Women’s Employment and Rehabilitation, POWER.  In this program she tells us about the lives of disabled women in Pakistan and how the women are working to improve conditions.  Also, an essay by Corbett O’Tolle about preserving disabled women’s history.

139.  Youth and Mental Health  Part A and Part B --Kids and their mental health is a topic rarely discussed in the past.  But it is gaining more attention around the world. In this program, Mediarites Productions brings us a 2 part series of first-person stories recorded by youth with mental disorders themselves.  We get an unusual opportunity to hear them describe their experiences, thoughts and feelings in these first-person narratives.

138.  Teri Olle--Toxic chemicals have been linked to an increase in asthma, cancer, developmental and learning disabilities. The problem begins with inadequate regulating of chemical companies and lack of testing before a chemical is used and people are exposed.  Teri Olle is an attorney with the California Public Interest Research Group and they are backing legislation to change all that.  This legislation is just in California now but it has the potential to effect US national toxic chemical policy and ultimately global policies as well.

133. John Joyner--After World War II, The United States gained control of many Pacific islands, including Saipan. The U.S. Government took on responsibility for providing many programs and services, including disability services similar to those enjoyed by people in the 50 states. The experience of people on Saipan provides an example of how a Federal mandate can cause cultural conflict. John Joyner, Director of the University Affiliated Program at the College of the Northern Marianna Islands, explains how Saipan's relationship with the U.S. has affected people with disabilities.

132. Tara Flood--According to UNICEF, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified human rights agreement in history.  But doesn't this Convention represent children around the world who have physical and mental disabilities?  Tara Flood is the Information and Advice Coordinator for Disability Awareness in Action, a UK-based disability rights organization.  Flood administers a program of disability and human rights activists with the goal of advancing inclusion of issues effecting children with disabilities into the UN Convention.

131.  Judy Brewer--When we think of access, we usually think of ramps, elevators and curbcuts.  But what about the Internet?  Judy Brewer is the Director of the Web Accessibility  Initiative of the Worldwide Web Consortium, the group that sets the standards for how the web operates.  She says that many web sites are still inaccessible to people with a variety of disabilities and that making web sites accessible also makes them usable by other under-represented groups.  Find out how you can make your web site accessible to everyone.

130.  Rhoda Olkin--The decision to seek psychotherapy to address a personal or professional problem can be complex for anyone.  However, if a person has a disability, they are likely to encounter an array of physical and attitudinal barriers in their search for a therapist who can provide appropriate treatment.  Dr. Rhoda Olkin has written a book called What Psycho-Therapists Should Know About Disability, and it’s a “how to” resource directory for mental health professionals who want to work with clients who have disabilities.

129.  Dick Sobsey--Abuse of children with disabilities is not as uncommon as we would like to believe.  Studies indicate that the abuse of disabled children is as much as 3 times that of non-disabled children.  Dick Sobsey is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta, Canada.  His research shows that the social response to disability is a key factor in why there is so much abuse.

126.  Landmines: A Human Disaster --This 30-minute documentary features the voices and words of the movement to ban landmines in the United States. To date, 139 countries have joined the Treaty to Ban Landmines. The U.S. is not among them. A U.S. signature on this treaty would provide the leadership needed to encourage countries like Russia, China and India to sign as well.  The activities of the landmine ban movement in the United States are focused on urging U.S. leaders to sign this important international treaty as soon as possible.

107. Mobility and Blindness.   People who have blindness as a primary disability but have a secondary disability requiring them to use a wheelchair face numerous challenges to keeping their independence.   Perhaps the most difficult barrier is remaining mobile in the community.  In this program two possible solutions are discussed.  Bill Gerrey at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute is working on a project to develop navigational methods for blind people using a wheelchair in combination with a white cane.  Larisa Sharikin is the Admission Coordinator at Southeastern Guide Dogs, and they have developed training methods for blind people using wheelchairs.

106. Ken Rutherford and Holly Burkhalter.  These two interviews discuss banning landmines from both a personal and political perspective.  Ken Rutherford is co-founder of the Landmine Survivors Network and was injured by a landmine while doing humanitarian work in Somalia.   Holly Burkhalte is the coordinator of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines.   Both have been key players in international efforts to ban landmines but now their efforts are focused on getting the United States to sign the Landmine Ban Treaty.

105. Nawaf Kabbara and Yang Jia--The first part of this program is an interview with Dr. Nawaf Kabbara, one of Lebanon's longtime disability rights leaders and an active member of Disabled Peoples' International. He describes the unusual beginnings of the movement in Lebanon and how people with disabilities were the first to call for peace during the extreme violence and killing in the 1980s. In the second part of the program Yang Jia, Vice President of the China Association of the Blind describes China's recent celebrations of disability rights and progress.

104. Eileen Giron--Eileen Giron has polio, uses a wheelchair and is one of El Salvador's most effective disability rights leaders. She is the Executive Director of a work co-op of people with disabilities producing and selling pottery and providing some basic services to disabled people outside the co-op. El Salvador, is currently in reconstruction after a bloody civil war, and Giron describes the experiences of those with disabilities during and after the war and how she acquired a disability consciousness and developed her organization amid difficult conditions.

93 B. Part II -- Sid Wolinsky (temporarily unavailable)

93 A. Part I. --Sid Wolinsky is the Director of Litigation and International Programs for Disability Rights Advocates, a group based in California and working worldwide. This is a two part program describing the details of what happened to people with disabilities before and during the Nazi Holocaust years in Germany and the occupied countries. Disability Rights Advocates has conducted extensive research to expose the details of this important and horrifying chapter in the history of people with disabilities. They are demanding compensation from the German government and have begun an educational campaign establishing an annual "Day of Remembrance." (temporarily unavailable)

88. Foluke Ideau--People with disabilities in Africa face many of the same barriers to full participation as their counterparts in other parts of the world. However, life in this part of the world is made much more complicated for people with disabilities because of war, poverty and ineffective governments. Foluke Ideau is the Program Director of an independent living program in Nigeria providing direct services and promoting the human rights of people with disabilities.

79. Lizzie Longsho--Lizzie Longsho is the Coordinator of women's groups for the National Council of Persons with Disabilities of Zimbabwe. In this capacity, Longsho has first-hand experiences with the conditions of disabled women in Zimbabwe and other parts of Southern Africa. In this interview she discusses the everyday lives of her constituents and emphasizes the need for reproductive health education and choice for women with disabilities.

78. McClaine Musheka--This program examines the problem of violence and sexual assault of deaf women in Southern Africa. McClaine Musheka helped  organize the first pan-African conference of deaf people and discusses this important meeting as well as her own story as a deaf African woman. Her remarks follow those of United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright on U.S. Government policy and violence against women with disabilities.