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OFF-KILTER with Rebecca Vallas

Jul 26, 2018

One in five Americans live with disabilities, making nearly every issue — from health care to the environment to the economy, and more — a disability issue. That’s why earlier this week, in conjunction with the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Center for American Progress announced the launch of the Disability Justice Initiative — in recognition that it’s long past time we stopped relegating people with disabilities to a single day on the calendar — and viewing so-called “disability issues” in a silo, separate and apart from the broader progressive agenda.

To take a look at how far we’ve come in the 28 years since the ADA — and how far we still have to go — this week the Disability Justice Initiative is taking over Off-Kilter, with guest co-host Rebecca Cokley, who’s leading up the project for CAP, joining Rebecca Vallas for an all-disability episode featuring some of our favorite disability leaders — a takeover we look forward to bringing back on the regular in the weeks and months ahead.

Tune in to hear from:

Sen. Tammy Duckworth on being a disabled mom and a U.S. Senator; moving beyond the pity/charity model to understanding disability as a source of strength; what it’s like to commemorate the ADA anniversary while the ADA itself is under attack; and more.

Matt Cortland, a chronically ill, disabled lawyer and activist (if you’re not following him on Twitter, you’re doing it wrong) on the importance of broadening the disability movement beyond traditional disability categories, to include chronic illnesses such as Crohn’s Disease; law school as a “survival strategy”; and the work of changing norms and spaces, instead of continuing to force people with disabilities to figure out how to “fit in.”

Andraea Lavant, disability advocate and friend of the show, on the quiet ableism of straw bans and what straws mean to her; how having people with disabilities at the table helps us craft stronger, more inclusive policies; and what’s wrong with demanding that people with disabilities explain themselves and their accessibility needs on the internet and in real life.