Ouch – Disability talk

The BBC’s podcast covering all things related to ‘disability’ runs to over 200 episodes since 2007.

There are programmes covering athletes at the Paralympics and comedians with a disability, but there are also programmes on more day-to-day issues like the difficulties of finding shoes to fit, and difficulties with wheelchairs.

Particular programmes deal with specific conditions or experiences, like a cycling injury that leaves Hannah without any English language.

The page for hunting through previous episodes is here:


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Wendy Mitchell – Somebody I Used To Know

This is a fantastic book. Somebody I used to know might be called a memoir by someone whose memory is deserting her. It is a priceless exploration of a world that might become relevant to any of us. It describes Wendy Mitchell’s life and experiences, with conversations between her old and new selves. It teems with tips on how to live with dementia, from the point of view of someone who is living with dementia. There are moving descriptions of the areas of difficulty, including talks with Wendy’s daughters about care and end-of-life decisions necessary for before they can sign … Read more...

Do’s and Don’ts for Clinicians

Julia Fox Garrison’s Basic Do’s and Don’ts for Doctors are hidden away in the Appendix of her memoir, but they are worth bringing into the open. They apply to all clinicians. (Amazing how such positive requests can emerge from a book that so often points up where Doctors and other clinicians are failing to listen.) These Do’s and Don’ts also chime so closely with Jill Bolte Taylor’s requests that the reader begins to see that this is not just an individual request, but the common reaction to prevalent behaviours in health care.

Lead. Lead the patients without …

Julia Fox Garrison – Don’t Leave Me This Way, or When I Get Back On My Feet You’ll Be Sorry

Julia Fox Garrison is one hell of a determined lady, and she needed to be. This book recounts her fight to recover from a severe right haemorrhagic stroke, and the resulting left hemiplegia, sensory problems and neglect. It is also a book full of dramatic confrontations and dark humour. Some of her encounters with the medical and therapy professionals are both horrific and hilarious. At the very least this is a polemic against one-size-fits-all rehabilitation, which all stroke rehabilitation clinicians should read.

Garrison was 37 year old manager, with a three year old son Rory, when she had her stroke. … Read more...

Dewey & Torpey – Nancy Mairs: Waist-High in the World

This documentary brims with humour, while at the same time getting right to the heart of the experience of the terrible disease that is Multiple Sclerosis. It allows Nancy Mairs to speak in a series of interviews and clips of public lectures, about her MS, but also about writing, about the inspirations for her writing, about her husband, smoking, infidelity, her dog, and being a grandparent. She is full of life, despite the limitations imposed by her MS. We can see her mobility problems, her breathlessness, the heaviness of her arms, the weakness of her grip and manipulation, and so … Read more...

Nancy Mairs – Waist-High in the World: a Life among the Nondisabled

Nancy Mairs was a classy writer (who happened to have Multiple Sclerosis), and her writing raises challenging questions. Her 1986 essay ‘On Being a Cripple’ (from her collection Plain Text) asks some pretty direct questions about what the best word is for someone with a disability, and appears to be a favourite review subject in American Universities for liberal arts students. Waist-High In The World ranges widely from a memoir of her life (partly as long-term adjustment to constraints), to the personal experiences of someone with Multiple Sclerosis, to considered thought about the sociological meaning of ‘disability’ and ‘disabled’. In … Read more...