It’s important to educate ourselves on disabilities and learn about the perspectives of PWDs. But if reading doesn’t work for you, there’s another alternative to text. Why not try podcasts?
Podcasts are delivered in audio (or sometimes audiovisual) episodes that can inform and entertain listeners. You can subscribe to a podcast and follow along with each episode every week online. The barrier to entry for making a podcast is also fairly low, making it easy for anyone to start their own podcast.
Here we’ve gathered some popular podcasts about disability-related topics. Many are also hosted by PWDs, giving their perspective on the news and issues that personally affect them.
This podcast looks at the factors that drive key issues such as activism, ableism and getting hired. In each episode, co-hosts Kyle Khachadurian and Emily Ladau discuss the topic from their own unique perspectives and discuss available solutions. Transcripts of each episode are available on the website.
Hosted by Alice Wong, Disability Visibility talks about politics, culture, and media representation of PWDs. It ended in April 2021 after 100 episodes, and was named one of the 15 best podcasts by women that you’re not listening to by Refinery29 in 2021. Transcripts of each episode are available along with a resource guide for the entire podcast.
Down to the Struts is a podcast about disability, design and intersectionality (a method of studying social relationships based on how parts of your personal identity overlap). Hosted by Qudsiya Naqui, the podcast looks at accessible design from a wide range of perspectives, including activists, scholars, artists and athletes. Each episode encourages listeners to reimagine our current practices and build a more inclusive world for all PWDs. Transcripts of each episode are available on the website.
Possibly the first true disability podcast, Ouch! gathers hundreds of episodes going back to 2015. It covers a wide range of disability issues, sometimes with more than one topic per episode. While the podcast is focused on the United Kingdom, the issues it discusses such as accessibility, health, harassment and success stories are relevant across the world. Transcripts of each episode are available on the website.
Nicole Kelly and Sarah Tuberty, two young women with limb differences, met and became friends in 2014. They decided to start a podcast together to “educate, empower, voice and build a more inclusive society.” Each episode is based around conversations with experts to discuss history, policies, stories and research centered on disability. Their goal is to strengthen advocacy efforts and create more inclusive communities, while removing the stigma surrounding disability. Transcripts of each episode are available on the website.
This podcast is hosted by Erin O’ Reilly, who has rheumatoid arthritis, and a wide array of other guest hosts. It discusses a wide range of disability-related topics, including technology, ableism and how to push back against it, leisure, hobbies and careers. Each episode provides factual, research-based information on current events and how they impact the PWD community. Transcripts of each episode are available on the website.
Pigeonhole is a podcast that focuses on disability as part of one’s identity, in conjunction with gender, class, race and more. The host, Cheryl Green, describes the podcast as one that holds on to the truth that “we’re complex and complicated”. Some episodes tell a person’s story. Others tackle an entire topic. Each episode is quite short, so you can listen to them between tasks or when you only have a little bit of free time. Transcripts of each episode are available on the website.
It’s important to stay up to date with the issues that affect PWDs, and the perspectives of other people with disabilities. Podcasts like these can help you do that if you prefer listening to people speak rather than reading about these issues.
Andrew P. (2021) 8 Disability Podcasts That Are Well Worth A Listen [Accessed: 17 May 2022] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewpulrang/2021/06/26/8-disability-podcasts-that-are-well-worth-a-listen/?sh=320edc905f4b
Disabled World (2022) Disability Podcasts: Disabilities Related Topics and Issues [Accessed: 17 May 2022] Available at: https://www.disabled-world.com/communication/podcasts/
Emily S. (2019) My 5 Favorite Disability Podcasts [Accessed: 17 May 2022] Available at: https://rockymountainada.org/news/blog/my-5-favorite-disability-podcasts
FeedSpot (2022) 20 Best Disability Podcasts [Accessed: 17 May 2022] Available at: https://blog.feedspot.com/disability_podcasts/
Lauren M. (2021) 5 Disability-Focused Podcasts You Should Listen To [Accessed: 17 May 2022] Available at: https://www.josephmaley.org/5-disability-focused-podcasts-you-should-listen-to/