A seriously funny take on life from the disability driven duo... Simon Minty and Phil Friend.
The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Laughs
Some people fear disability and comedy. Not so our guest this month. Steven Verdile created the satirical website The Squeaky Wheel to create and publish funny stories with disability as a theme.
Steven explains how the site came about, what inspired the name and how the growing team of writers write the material. An expanding and loyal readership means the site is thriving. It’s even been the answer to a US newspaper crossword clue.
Making it sustainable is a wish of Steven’s. Making sure they push the boundaries of comedy but don’t step over the line of appropriateness is a frequent consideration. Making it professional and paying people is in the plan.
Take a dive into some of the funniest headlines and then listen to the pod and find out what The Squeaky Wheel is all about.
Private Eye https://www.private-eye.co.uk
The Onion https://www.theonion.com
BBC Access All https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r6yqw
Television and Disability Special - with Allan MacKillop and Nichola Garde
If disability and television are your thing, you will have noticed some significant improvements of late. On-screen, we know #RepresentationMatters but behind the camera is equally important.
Our guests this month are two of the people who are instrumental in changing the landscape of disability and television. Nichola Garde is the Project Manager of Elevate. This is the BBC’s mid-career-boosting scheme for behind screen talent who have a disability. Allan MacKillop is Disability Team Leader covering both creative and workforce strategy at the BBC. A massive brief with high expectations.
We asked Allan and Nichola why so much change now? What do they think are the best methods for the improvement of disability and television? We talk pan-industry as Channel 4, ITV, Netflix, and others push this forward. Indeed, Netflix has a genre of disability-related programmes now. We ask Allan and Nichola’s advice on getting in and getting ahead in the industry. Finally, we offer them a magic wand to see what else is on their wish list. Naturally, we ask how they got to where they are and what adjustments they need to be the best they can be.
Twitter @NicholaGarde @AllanMacKill
Channel 4 Disability
Netflix and BBC
Netflix Disability shows
Nothing About Us Without Us!
It’s a fantastic show this month - insight, depth, nostalgia, vulnerability, power and the future.
The BBC recently broadcast a docudrama telling the story of the disability rights campaigners of the early 1990s in the UK. Using the love story between two key protagonists, Then Barbara Met Allan is a landmark piece of television. Not only because of the story it told but the number of creative disabled people who made it. It allows Phil and Simon to take a joyful and triumphant walk and wheel down memory lane to talk about their memories of this time and the impact it had on the country as well as so many individuals.
Slips trips and falls are a common occurrence for some with a disability. Unfortunately, Phil recently took a tumble. When you’re campaigning for social justice, you’re seemingly invincible but in reality, we can all experience moments when things don’t go as planned. What can you do, what can you change and does the fall or the shame hurt the most?
We talk about what is happening to disabled people in Ukraine. We have a remarkable update from Sarah, one of our immunocompromised guests from the previous show and a lovely Listener's Corner on the impact it made. Geoff tells us all about Yellow Jackets and there’s a shout out for your help on a future show.
Then Barbara Met Alan
Disabled people’s Direct Action Network
Disability Rights, a history as a wallchart
BBC article When disabled people took to the streets to change the law
Barbara Lisicki aka Wanda Barbara
Johnny Crescendo aka Alan Holdsworth
Disabled people in Ukraine
Sophie Morgan book
Don't You, Forget About Me. Immunocompromised people and Covid restrictions
Coronavirus restrictions are easing here in the UK and around the world. We are said to be on the road to freedom; masks are dropping, hand sanitiser solidifying, and we're willing to take a chance again.
For many, this is excellent news, but not for all. For those who are immunocompromised (500,000 people UK) or clinically extremely vulnerable (3.7m people UK), the road to freedom has many potholes. They have a greater risk of catching Covid, and they are more likely to go to a hospital, more likely to be admitted to ICU, and face an increased risk of dying. Life for this minority is still restricted. As the majority move on, is there a risk of people being left behind?
We reached out to some affected listeners and spoke with them about the impact and their current lives. Sarah Baxter, who works for a UK bank and Gareth Berliner, is an actor and comedian. Both are immunocompromised. They tell us about asking a fellow train passenger to put on their mask, of donating work clothes to charity in March 20202, realising future office visits will be few. There's even a fortuitous career change as the new workplace adheres to strict Covid protocols. As well as Sarah and Gareth, we hear from Christina Clegg in the UK and Denise Rei and Jen Risser in the USA. All five of our guests talk of the early days of the pandemic, when for a few months, we were unified when we all faced a significant health risk.
The stats might not lead the news bulletin, but Covid-19 is still here. What can society and individuals do to avoid a twin-track society? How do we consider the needs of the few whilst allowing the many to continue?
Join Zoe Covid info, trackers and stats
Guardian Jan 2022 first article "More people will die fears."
Guardian Jan 2022 second article "Disabled people Plan B restrictions."
Colin Angus on Twitter Sheffield University | Health inequalities | COVID-19 | Data visualisation
Those with underlying health conditions are not also at death's door. One-third of the UK adult population have hypertension (high blood pressure)Just under a third are obese.Once you get past your mid-50s, chances are you have a long-term health condition. By the time you reach your 70s, you have to be extremely lucky not to.ICNARC Statistics and research Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre. Levels of dependency prior to admission to acute care (Dec 2021) report shows 89.5% lived without assistance, 10.4% had some assistance, 0.4% had total assistance.
Sarah Baxter on Twitter
Gareth Berliner on Twitter
Review of 2021. What’s ahead in 2022?
We had a chat with regular guest Joanna Wootten and cultural critic Geoff Spink to ask them their disability or Deaf stand out moment from 2021 and what they’re excited about in 2022. We added our highlights in there too.
The stand out moments for us is very broad and includes Strictly Come Dancing, Abnormally Funny People comedy at the Royal Festival Hall, the next Lewis Hamilton racing in Bahrain, a William Boyd book, ’ Any Human Heart’ and the film Cyrano with Peter Dinklage. In addition, the UK Government’s Disability Strategy and the second reading of the British Sign Language Bill in the House of Commons make the list.
Let us know what are your favourite moments. Enjoy the show.
Abnormally Funny People
Abnormally Funny People sing ‘Stand By Me’ Lockdown version 2021
Any Human Heart print
Any Human Heart audio
British Sign Language Bill
Cyrano film IMDB
Cyrano film website
National Disability Strategy
Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals 2021 Kart Racing in Bahrain Albert Friend 45:33 in
Strictly Come Dancing Rose and Giovanni YouTube
Succession season 4 Digitial Spy
Oh Bristol, so much to answer for - Getting paid for disability advocacy & creating a safe place or exclusion?
Bristol recently advertised for a Commissioner for their Disability Equality Commission. You need skills and experience and be expected to be a spokesperson. Time commitment is up to seven working weeks a year. Salary, zero. How much do we value equalities work? What value do we give to different contributions? When should we get paid, and when is it voluntary? How do we value those who help achieve it?
There has been all-party support for some new play parks for disabled adults in Bristol again, coincidentally. So good news? Well, it might be, but why has this cropped up? A mum of a disabled adult said they were 'met with verbal abuse and complaints when using play areas in Bristol's parks. They want to create a safe, fun, accessible and life-changing disabled adult play park". Phil and Simon grapple with the conflict of why can't disabled adults play where everyone else does; why are those who are the abusers not being moved or educated? Is this a pragmatic and beneficial solution?
Geoff rocks up with his cultural pics: a book called Moving by Jenny Eclair and TV show Baron Noir, on Prime.
A bumper Listeners Corner with your brilliant emails and messages. We finish with a heartfelt Christmas message. See you next year and thank you for listening.
Bristol Disability Equality Commission
Playing Parks in Bristol
Moving by Jenny Eclair book
Moving by Jenny Eclair audiobook
Baron Noir IMDB
Thoughtful and intelligent
Like listening to a couple of old friends.