Inspiring Change: A New Podcast from OCALI

Inspiring Change Podcast logo

Hot off the press is OCALI’s brand new podcast, Inspiring Change. Take an audio journey with OCALI through our monthly forum of stories and connections from our ongoing work of inspiring change and promoting access for people with disabilities.

Through candid interviews and conversations with leaders and partners in the field of disability, as well as parents, community members, self-advocates, and others, listeners will discover and understand how different ideas, perspectives, and experiences help fuel OCALI’s continued efforts to impact lives in Ohio and beyond. 

“Much of what OCALI does and offers is behind the scenes, indirect, or even abstract to some people,” explains Simon Buehrer, podcast host and producer. “An audio podcast gives us a new way of exploring and explaining what we do and helps bring to life new ways of understanding and experiencing our work.” 

Podcasts are a great on-the-go learning resource. Users can listen in the car, on the bike trail, or walking around the neighborhood. Audio conversations and stories can also teach, explain, or clarify things that are complex or confusing.  

“There’s nothing more powerful than a great story,” shares Buehrer. “Stories help us to step outside ourselves, to see things in a new light, and sometimes change our ideas, viewpoints, and perspectives.”

Here’s a look at our first two episodes:

Episode 1 – Shifting Expectations: Reflections on Ohio’s Transition Toward Community Employment and Individual Choice

“How do we build a better community together?” Many people with disabilities have historically found work in what are commonly referred to as sheltered workshops. These are typically common spaces where they perform repetitive tasks such as stuffing envelopes or shredding documents. Since 2012, Ohio has been shifting away from this type of employment model toward one where community employment and individual choice are the preferred outcomes for people with disabilities. How is that move going? We caught up with some of the professionals behind the scenes and on the front lines of what’s known as the Ohio Employment First initiative during their annual gathering in Columbus. 

Episode 2 – A Day at the Fair: The First Sensory Friendly Morning at the Ohio State Fair

“It’s her first time out in a big outing like this. She’s non-verbal, and she’s just loving it.” Let’s spend a day at the Fair! We profile the first ever Sensory Friendly Morning at the 166th Ohio State Fair. Find out what happens when you lower the lights and sounds of the midway and take additional steps towards building options and opportunities for accessibility and inclusion.

“In the first episode, Tiffany Martin of Goodwill Columbus says, ‘Everyone has a right to be part of our community. And everyone has a right to have a voice,’ explains Buehrer. “That is the exact purpose of this new podcast—to build community through the power and poignancy of the human voice.”