Recommended Listening: Disability Podcasts

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Podcasts are ever-growing in popularity, diversity, and volume of options. It’s no surprise that there are an increasing number of podcasts about disability, with topics ranging from disability culture and community, to history, to accessible design, and more. All the podcasts featured in this article are hosted and developed by people with disabilities; plus, in true disability-friendly fashion, they all provide transcripts for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

A woman in a chair and a man in a wheelchair sit together at a table, recording a podcast.

Included: The Disability Equity Podcast

From the Johns Hopkins Disability Health Research Center, Included: The Disability Equity Podcast seeks to challenge the stereotypes surrounding disability, fight ableism, and share news. The podcast is hosted by Dr. Bonnielin Swenor and Dr. Nicholas Reed, and features diverse guests sharing personal stories, research data, and expertise on a wide range of disability topics. Episodes are available on their website, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

Barrier Free Futures

Barrier Free Futures is hosted by KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio presenter Bob Kafka, and has been putting out an episode nearly every week since February 2015. Each episode is a quick and digestible 30 minutes, and has featured a wide range of guests. Barrier Free Futures explores disability issues like health, home living, the arts, technology, sports, education and employment, and more. In addition to these topics, the podcast ensures that they examine these issues from many angles, including various age groups, ethnic backgrounds, and economic circumstances. If you’d like to tune in live, you can listen to KSFR Santa Fe on Tune In – Barrier Free Futures airs on Saturdays from 2:00pm to 2:30pm MST. Otherwise, the episodes are available on the website linked above, Podchaser, and Spotify.

Disability Visibility Podcast

Disability Visibility Podcast was produced by the Disability Visibility Project by activist, media producer, and consultant Alice Wong. Named one of Refinery 29’s “15 best podcasts by women” in 2021, Wong invited guests to talk about politics, culture, and media, weaving in conversations on disability rights, intersectionality, and social justice. Disability Visibility Podcast ended with their 100th episode in April 2021, but the project has plans for additional audio stories in the future. Episodes are available on the Disability Visibility Project’s website, RadioPublic, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Android, Blubrry, and Spotify.

Down to the Struts

Hosted by lawyer and disability justice activist Qudsiya Naqui, Down to the Struts seeks to reimagine practices, policies, and the environments we design with the goal of putting intersectional disabled bodies at their center. Naqui brings activists, artists, athletes, and scholars to discuss how we might build a more accessible, inclusive, and equitable world. Down to the Struts is available on their website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher.

The Accessible Stall

Much less formal than the other podcasts on this list, The Accessible Stall is hosted by friends Emily Ladau and Kyle Khachadurian. Some episodes feature guests, but most are simply casual conversations and friendly arguments between the two hosts. The episode topics range from the light-hearted to the somber, all while trying to challenge the “expected” of the disability community and offer a “behind-the-curtain” look into life with disabilities. The Accessible Stall is especially compelling, as Kyle and Emily often have different opinions and experiences on many disability topics. Episodes are available on their website, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, and Spotify.

Power Not Pity

Like The Accessible Stall, Power Not Pity is a smaller and less formal project, started in 2017 by producer and host Bri after receiving a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. As a nonbinary, queer, Black, and disabled person, Bri’s podcast serves as a vehicle to amplify, preserve, and celebrate the voices of disabled people of color. Power Not Pity explores the world of disability, and seeks to agitate the ableist status quo by collaborating with other disabled writers and artists of color. Power Not Pity’s episodes are available on the podcast’s website, as well as Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Podchaser.

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