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Connecting Disability

Arts & Culture Podcasts

In Connecting Disability, accessibility reporter Meagan Gillmore and her guests consider how experiences of disability help us connect with others and society.

In Connecting Disability, accessibility reporter Meagan Gillmore and her guests consider how experiences of disability help us connect with others and society.


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In Connecting Disability, accessibility reporter Meagan Gillmore and her guests consider how experiences of disability help us connect with others and society.




Connecting disability to… trying new things after a loss

On this first episode of Season 2, I am thrilled to introduce you to Heather Graham. After Heather was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 46, she lost much of her mobility and active lifestyle. A few years ago, she decided to gain it back. Heather joins me from her residence in Calgary to talk about her journey with MS, what living in long-term care looks like before and during a pandemic, and what it means to control your disability. Some resources Heather mentioned in this episode:...


Connecting disability to… music and mentorship

We’re ending our FIRST YEAR of podcasting on a musical note! W. Ian Walker has spent his life in music, whether by singing with various musical groups, working in arts administration, or now as a playwright. Ian joins Meagan to talk about turning his memoir, Stirring My Soul to Sing, into a play, how music has influenced his journey with ADHD, his experiences in the church, and the value of mentorship. Meagan reveals her answers to the questions, “Where is it hard for you to connect with...


Connecting disability to… the outdoors

It’s hard to believe, but summer vacation is nearly half over. So, today we’re talking about the importance of getting outside. Leona Mattice is an avid birder from Elliot Lake, Ont., who has spent years encouraging those with disabilities to explore the natural world around them. She joins us today to talk about how birding helped her through grief, brought her love and what birds can teach us about life with a disability. We also test her knowledge of bird calls.


Connecting Disability… to careers and that often-elusive first job

It’s graduation season, so we turn our focus to employment and job searching. Our guest is Jack McCormick, human resources manager at Microsoft. Jack chats about how his partial sight has impacted his job search and career, and why volunteering is so important. And – congrats to the Class of 2022!


Connecting Disability to… the medical system

People with disabilities often use the medical system, but what happens when they want to become doctors? On this episode, Quinten Clarke gives us some insight into what the medical profession looks like as a medical resident who has a disability. Quinten is the vice-president and Trainee Group Lead for the Canadian Association of Physicians with Disabilities. Through this work, he advocates for medical learners with disabilities. He’s currently a resident physician at the University of...


Connecting Disability… to life as a refugee

It’s been nearly two months since Russia invaded Ukraine. The ongoing war has had devastating impacts on the approximately 2.7 million Ukrainians who have disabilities. Tanya Herasymova knows this well. She’s the project manager of Fight for Right, an organization that advocates for human rights for Ukrainians with disabilities. Tanya joins us to talk about how the war has impacted her life, what it’s like being a refugee with a disability and what her biggest hopes are. This is a very raw...


Connecting Disability to … professional sports and being a fan

The Beijing Paralympics and Olympics have just wrapped up, and we’re taking this opportunity to reflect on disability and sport. In this case, though, we’re looking at how disability connects with professional, able-bodied sports. Chanel Keenan is the intersectionality consultant for the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, which means she’s responsible for making sure the NHL’s newest team considers the needs of fans who are disabled. Chanel and Meagan talk about how Chanel got her start in hockey, why...


Connecting Disability to… cultural curiosity (and hygiene!)

This conversation is a vivid example of all the ways disability can bring unexpected opportunities and experiences to our lives. David Achuroa, who is from northern Ghana, contracted polio when he was two. That eventually led him to a rehabilitation centre, which then led to him beginning school. David earned a science degree in community nutrition before moving to Canada to study anthropology at the University of Calgary. He currently lives in Edmonton. In this conversation, we talk about...


Connecting Disability to … Living with cancer in community

Welcome to 2022! We’re starting this year with a story of living with hope and resilience in the face of ongoing health challenges. Clare Li has lived with various autoimmune diseases for most of her life. But it wasn’t until the Vancouver native moved to Montreal that she intently started studying her disabilities – and shortly after she made some hard decisions to increase her independence, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In this conversation, Clare talks about her journey of...


Connecting Disability to … Good conversations and Marriage

To bring some warmth to this winter season, we’re learning about how disability played a role in one couple’s romance. Michelle Hewitt is a disability advocate in British Columbia, and the national co-chair of Disability Without Poverty, an organization dedicated to lifting Canadians with disabilities out of financial poverty. Victor Enns is a poet and author, who spent most of his life living in Manitoba – until this past spring. In this conversation, they tell us about how they met and how...


Connecting Disability to … International Adoption

Disabilities impact families in various ways. It literally expanded Katrina Gossett Kelly’s family. Four years ago, she adopted her son from Bulgaria. In this conversation, Katrina talks about how having a disability is both a benefit and a challenge when pursuing adoption, and what her journey is teaching her about what it means to build a community. Katrina Gossett Kelly is a lawyer practising in trade secret litigation. She’s also an advocate for people with disabilities in Indiana. You...


Connecting Disability to … Parenting and compassion

For many parents, their first significant experience with disability comes when they find out their child has one. Shannon Reaume’s story is different: both she and her son have the same medical condition, central congenital hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS). In this conversation, Shannon and Meagan talk about how Shannon’s disability impacted her journey to motherhood, what it’s like to share a diagnosis with your child and what the experience is teaching her about having compassion for her...


Connecting Disability to...Storytelling and community

On the first episode of “Connecting Disability,” Meagan sat down with the journalist who first showed her how experiences with disability can lead to in-depth, thoughtful journalism – and help us consider how one person’s disability can impact several people in related, different ways. In 2009, Globe and Mail feature writer Ian Brown published The Boy in the Moon, a memoir about his experiences with his son, Walker, who was born with a rare genetic disorder called cardiofaciocutaneous...


Connecting Disability Premieres on September 22nd!

In Connecting Disability, accessibility reporter Meagan Gillmore and her guests consider how experiences of disability help us connect with others and society.