Pushing Limits

Disability History: Fundraising Special

Nadina LaSpina

Nadina LaSpina is guest host for a lively discussion about the history of the disability rights movement in the last 50-60 years.  With Eddie Ytuarte, Jean Stewart and Adrienne Lauby.

Nadina LaSpina is a well-known activist in the disability rights movement who has been arrested countless times for civil disobedience. She’s been in the streets with Disabled In Action, ADAPT, The Disability Caucus, and other groups. After teaching Italian for many years, Nadina LaSpina created and taught courses in Disability Studies at The New School. She lives in New York City. Her book, Such a Pretty Girl: A Story of Struggle, Empowerment. and Disability Pride has been reviewed prominently and she was featured this week in appearances at .

Jean Stewart became disabled in 1978 following pesticide exposure. This launched a life of disability rights activism and midwifed her novel, The Body’s Memory, from St. Martin’s Press. Her stories, poems, and essays have appeared in many anthologies including Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out, from Penguin.

Jean is also a naturalist with a degree in botany who currently devotes herself to environmental and climate change activism. She is a founding member of EEL, Electricity Equals Life, a disability group formed in response to PG&E’s power shutoffs. Her disability rights activism has taken her to Cuba, India, Brazil, and Mexico.   

We discuss Kim E. Nielsen’s book,A Disability History of the United States. the first analysis of disability throughout United States history.  It covers the period prior to European arrival through the present.   Dr. Nielsen is a Professor of Disability Studies, History, and Women’s & Gender Studies at the university of Toledo.  Her scholarship centers on historical debates about who is fit to participate in civic life; using gender, disability, and changing notions of competency as her tools of analysis.

Her other books include Beyond the Miracle Worker: The Remarkable Life of Anne Sullivan Macy and Her Extraordinary Friendship with Helen Keller (Beacon, 2009); Helen Keller: Selected Writings (NYUP, 2005); The Radical Lives of Helen Keller (NYUP, 2004); and Un-American Womanhood: Anti-Radicalism, Anti-Feminism, and the First Red Scare (OSUP, 2001)

Adrienne Lauby and Eddie Ytuarte are hosts at Pushing Limits and they co-produced this program.

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