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 Social Justice, Integration, Freedom and Choice for people with disabilities




Disability Beat is a weekly public affairs radio program heard live every Monday afternoon from 5:30 to 6:00 pm Central time on WEFT Champaign, 90.1 FM in east central Illinois.

Disability Beat is about and for people with all types of disabilities with a slant toward social justice, community supports, inclusion, accessibility, freedom and choice.

Listen to all of the latest programs on the station website at WEFT.ORG


 If you have problems opening the podcast files- and sometimes it takes a while - right click on the link and save the file to your desktop or somewhere else where you can find it. Then, all you have to do is click on the saved file. It should open up immediately.

Listen to live episodes of Disability Beat at Mondays at 5:30 PM Central time.

Disability Beat Podcasts 

Vickie Kean and Susan Jennings on the passing of longtime advocate, Don Moss.

Russ Bonanno, Executive Director of the Autism Project of Illinois (TAP).

Tony Paulauski, Executive Director of the Arc of Illinois on recent cuts to Human Services by Illinois Governor Rauner.

 Rachel Siegel, author, comedian and mom of a young son with Down Syndrome.


Geri Mariano, motivational speaker.


Self-advocates Amy Foster and Tex.


Nancy Hinkley of New York Partners in Policymaking.


Beth Gallagher, CEO of LifeWorks, a progressive provider in California.

Peter Moore, Executive Director of the Ohio Association of County Boards for DD, and Peter Tracy and Lynn Canfield of the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Boards.


Shirley Perez and Kimberly Johnson-Evans of the Family Support Network,


Loralea Liss and Dr. Kevin Pettit on the Self-Help Conference, sponsored by Family Service of Champaign County.


Mark Scott, president of the Down Syndrome Network,

Michael Callahan of Marc Gold and Associates, currently working in Illinois with parents and providers to promote and expand the use of Customized Employment.

Tony Paulauski, Executive Director of the Arc of Illinois on the 1115 Waiver.

 Katherine Johnson, Assistant Director at Beckwith Hall, supporting students at the University of Illinois who have physical disabilities.


Barb Bressner, Consultant for the Champaign County Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Board on the 8th annual Disability Resource Expo.


Walt Blumenshine of GROW, a support group for people with mental illness.


Stephanie Sideman of CSH, on a new model of Supportive Housing for people with developmental disabilities.


Susy Woods, Education Liaison for the Illinois Assistive Technology Project.


Dr. Sam Wise, physician Brian Sielatycki and Angela Kyger.


Paul Brailer of Criptaedo, self-defense training for individuals with disabilities.


Ann Russell, Licensed Clinical Social Worker from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)


Parent and advocate Amy Armstrong with an update on the Stephens Family YMCA and Larkin’s Place.


Parent, Georgiana Schuster, on the little known disability, Q22.


Jennifer Bell of the Reading Group on Dyslexia.


Dr. Kevin Pettit, author and motivational speaker on his experience with Traumatic Brain Injury.


Parent Pam Harris on Harris v Quinn, a lawsuit being heard by the US Supreme Court.


Terry Plampin of Healing Horse Stables on equine therapy.


Jennifer Harrison, Project Manager for the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities on the Speak Up and Speak Out Summit, a conference for self-advocates.


Rebekah Flores of L’Arche, a religiously based living alternative in the Chicago area.


Liat Ben Moshe, performance artist with disabilities.


Peter Tracy, Executive Director of the Champaign County Mental Health Board and Developmental Disabilities Board.


Rachel Weisberg, Attorney for Equip for Equality, on an ADA case involving a woman who lost her job due to using oxygen.


Andrea Marwah,  Advocacy/IDEA Specialist for the Illinois School for the Deaf.


Tony Records, Court Monitor for the Ligas Consent Decree.

Barb Bressner, Consultant for the Champaign County Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Board on the 7th annual Disability Resource Expo.

9.9.13 Edwin Canizalez, Events and Training Manager for TASH, on the upcoming conference in Chicago.  LISTEN

9.2.13 Jennifer Bell of the Reading Group on dyslexia.  LISTEN

8.26.13 Barb Bressner on the Upcoming DisAbility Resource Expo: Reaching out for Answers  LISTEN

8.19.13 A rebroadcast of an interview with Advocate, mentor and friend, Lester Pritchard who passed on in October 2012. LISTEN

8.12.13 Tony Records, Court Monitor for the Ligas Consent Decree with an update on the progress of this important case for adults with disabilities in Illinois. LISTEN

8.5.13 Tim Harris, owner of Tim’s Place, the world’s friendliest restaurant in Albuquerque NM where the hugs are free, and his father, Keith Harris. LISTEN

7.29.13 Beth Valukis of Search, Inc. and JJ Hanley of JJ’s List on a new merger to promote employment of young adults with disabilities called
“No Boundaries”. LISTEN

7.22.13 Charlotte Glynn, filmmaker and sibling, on her first short film, “Rachel Is”. LISTEN

7.1 .13  Ed McManus Former DHS administrator, Dad, and consultant,

6.17.13  Jessica Martin self-advocate and her partner Cleo Scott on
their new venture, teaching self-advocates and others to speak up for themselves.

6.3.13  Ryan Chalmers wheelchair athlete, who recently completed a
3,000 push across the US  

5.27.13  Bridget Brown, self-advocate, speaker, and sometimes actress.

5.20.13   Ellen Walker, microboard member and researcher from Perth, Western Australia. LISTEN

5.13.13 Cindi Swanson, Illinois and National Advocate, talks about the importance of community inclusion, social capital, and how to start thinking about building community for young children with disabilities. LISTEN  

5.6.13 Tim Stone and Alison Kopit of L’Arche Chicago talk about the culture
of L’Arche and Tim’s dream of owning his coffee roastery and coffee shop. LISTEN 

4.29.13 Alyson Patsavas of the University of Illinois, Chicago, runs down the schedule for Bodies of Work, a disability arts event in the Chicago area in May. LISTEN

4.22.13 Teresa O'Connor and Sally Mustered on the C-U Autism Walk, to be held on Sunday, April 28 at Hessel Park in Champaign. LISTEN

4.15.13 Peter Tracy, Exec. Director of the Champaign County DD Board and Mental Health Board comes for a continuation of the discussion about the workings of the boards and the efforts they support on behalf of providers and people with disabilities in Champaign County. LISTEN  

4.8.13 Katherine Hamann of the Arc of Illinois Family Transition Project discusses details of the "Going Home" Rally in Springfield, on April 9. LISTEN   

4.1.13 Peter Tracy, Executive Director of the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board and Mental Health Board. LISTEN

3.25.13 Amy Armstrong, driving force behind the new Stevens Family YMCA and Larkin's Place, discusses achievements, progress and issues in better serving children and adults with disabilities in the new facility. LISTEN

Sheila Fisher, talking about her daughter Devora, and the importance of real community inclusion. Listen 

Mary Meduna, keynote speaker for the Family Conference in Peoria
on March 9  

Gail Olson, Coordinator of Hearing and Vision Early Intervention Outreach discusses the highlights of the upcoming Parent Conference in Peoria on
March 9. For more information go to   Listen 

Trevor Halfacre self-advocate talks about his life, hopes, dreams and challenges. Listen

 Jessica Cox is an articulate and accomplished young woman born without arms who is the star and subject of a new documentary, "Rightfooted".

Cynthia Faullin of One Main Development, discusses an upcoming movie event at the Art Theater in Champaign. Come out and see "High Ground" on Tuesday, Jan 22 at 7 pm! Listen

Angie James, personal support worker, talks about her job supporting people with disabilities through the home-base support services program  Listen

1.21.13 Robert Kingett, advocate, speaker and writer. Listen

12.24.12 Sheila Ferguson of Community Elements discussing Mental Health Services in the wake of the Connecticut School shootings Listen

12.17.12 Sue Suter

, "retired" state and national leader in the disability community is currently a board member for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) who
is exploring providing services in Champaign County. Listen

12.10.12 David Morrissey, the Executive Director of the United States International Council on Disabilities, discussing the recent attempt to pass the UN Treaty of the Rights for People with Disabilities in the US Senate. Listen

 12.3.12 Margie Wakelin, staff attorney for the Equip for Equality, Special Education Clinic on a recent Illinois due process case involving a 5-year-old
with autism. Listen


Ed McManus, parent, and recently "retired" after 17 years with the Illinois Division of Developmental Disabilities. Listen

11.19.12 An interview with Michael Granse of the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission on the recent funding of 1500 individuals with disabilities through the Ligas Consent Decree. Listen

11.12.12 An interview with Tammy Duckworth (recorded in 2011) on issues affecting veterans with disabilities. Listen

11.5.12 Tony Paulauski, Executive Director of the Arc of Illinois on the recent elections. Listen

10.29.12 Gary Arnold, President of Little People of America. Listen 

10.15.12 Georgiana Schuster on a seldon-diagnosed but relatively common syndrome called 22Q. Listen

9.24.12 Filmmaker, Woody Bavota on his upcoming documentary on Poland Syndrome. Listen

9.17.12 Amie Lulinski Norris,  Institute on Disability and Human Development and a PhD Candidate in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. on the National Forum on Disability Issues, to be held on Sept. 28, 2012. Listen

9.10.12 Tony Paulauski, Executive Director of the Arc of Illinois with an update on the Governor's Rebalancing Initiative. Listen

9/3/12 Gina Gallagher and Patty Konjoian, authors of "Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid:  A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children". Listen

8.27.12 Barry Taylor, Equip for Equality Listen

8.20.12 Jamie Stevens, employment specialist for Community Choices Cooperative in Urbana Listen

8.13.12 Mariah Kilbourne, Miss Wheelchair America. Listen

8.6.12 Alan Goldstein of Equip for Equality on a lawsuit filed against the IHSA (Illinois High School Association) on behalf of a high school athlete with a disability who wants to compete on the swim team. Listen

7.30.12 Michele Westmaas on the rollercoaster ride of parenting a child with a disability diagnosis. Listen

Kurt Yaeger, cast member of the FX series, "Sons of Anarchy" on his role as "Greg the Peg". Listen

7.16.12 Peter Tracy, Executive Director of the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board and Mental Health Boards on the funding available for providers and support groups. Listen

7.9.12 ‎Krescene Schneider-Beck of the Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance and
Blue Tower Training on helping self-advocates to dream and communicate their dreams to others.  Listen

6.25.12 Katherine Hamann, Director of the Family Transition Project of the
Arc of Illinois. Listen

6.18.12 Michael Mayer of Community Resource Alliance on the closure of Jacksonville Developmental Center. Listen

6.11.12 Janice Fialka, author of the new book, Parents and Professionals Partnering for Children with Disabilities: A Dance that Matters. Listen

6.4.12 An interview with Diana Braun, advocate from Springfield, IL. Listen

5.30.12 Tim Wambach and Mike Berkson of the live stage show, Handicap This! being performed in Bloomington, IL on June 27, 2012in conjunction with the 5th Annual Gathering: The Power of Community. Listen

5.21.12 Wendy Partridge  has been supporting people to type to communicate for the last 9 years. She has learned from her son and others who use alternative forms of communication there is much they have to say. Listen

5.14.12 ‎Diana Braun - lived in an institution, has lived independently for 14 years, made a movie, traveled to Uzbekistan, and drove to Champaign for the interview! Listen

5.7.12 Derrick Dufresne of CRA is a leader in the effort to close the Jacksonville Developmental Center. He discusses the challenges and opportunities of this complex project. Listen

5.2.12 Rebekah Flores, Program Coordinator at L'Arche in Chicago, a faith-based living arrangement for adults with disabilities. Listen

4.25.12 Sheila Ferguson, Director of Community Elements, and menber of the Anti-Stigma Alliance on their collaboration with the Roger Ebert Film Festival. Listen

4.18.12 Deb Einhorn , Executive Director of Family Matters discusses the upcoming Family Conference to be held on Saturday, April 28 in Peoria.   Listen

4.11.12 Tim Welsh of Autism Aid discusses this national effort to assist families of children and adults with autism in getting needed supports. Listen

3.28.12 Jeni Forshier-Jenkins and Mary Jones on an upcoming Parkinson's Awareness Fundraiser, April 14 at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana. Listen

3.7.12 April Keaton, Licensed Clinical Social Worker discusses her work with young adults with autism and other disabilities. Listen

2.29.12 Tony Paulauski, Executive Director of the Arc of Illinois on Governor Quinn's budget address and the potential impact on people with disabilities in Illinois. Listen

2.8.12 Author Zachary Fenell on his book, Off Balanced. Listen

2.1.12 Leroy Moore and Brooke Willock of Sins Invalid a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities and others who have been historically marginalized.  Listen

1.25.12 Mark Doyle is the Project Manager for Transition of Care, Governor Quinn's initiative to move people with developmental disabilities who currently reside in State Operated Developmental Centers to quality services in the community. In this interview he outlines the plan, the players and the philosophy and values behind the project. Listen

1.18.12 Shirley Perez of the Family Support Network trains and coordinates parent advocates to support quality community living. Listen

1.11.12 Teresa Parks and Cathy Wolf of the Human Rights Authority, Guardianship and Advocacy Commission. Listen

1.4.12 Cathy Ficker Terrill, CEO of the Institute on Public Policy discusses a conference in Champaign scheduled for January 26 on a national initiative, Employment First. Presenters include David Mank of Indiana University, Kevin Casey, Director of the Ilinois Division of Developmental Disabilities, Kim Zoeller, CEO of Ray Graham Association. Listen