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Logo of AUCD Network Narratives: Real Stories from Our MembersA podcast from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) that shares real stories from network members who are working to change systems and structures that impact people with disabilities. Each AUCD Network Narratives episode features a conversation about experiences at a LEND, UCEDD or IDDRC, especially highlighting emerging leaders and the voices of BIPOC disabled people and their families. We aim to energize AUCD network members to take action in their own communities. Episode transcripts are available with each episode listed below.


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March 9, 2022

Season 1 Wrap Up

Join Jeiri, as she thanks you for tuning in to Season 1 of the AUCD Network Narratives podcast. Jeiri reflects on what the 1st season has had in stores and what's to come in season 2. AUCD Network has had the pleasure of hearing amazing stories from members and insights on ways we to work together to help advocate and educate the community at large.

February 23, 2022

Understanding the Experiences of Black Mothers in the Disability Community

Elizabeth Morgan joins the show to help us understand the experiences of Black mothers in the disability community. Elizabeth is an Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership at the University of California, Sacramento, and program coordinator for the CED at the Mind Institute. Jeiri and Elizabeth’s conversation explores the ways in which representation matters. Elizabeth takes us behind the scenes of her thesis, how she dug deep into the conversations surrounding disparities, and why she felt empowered as a Black mother with a learning disability to create an impact in the field.

February 9, 2022

What is Cultural Brokerage and How it Engages Communities

If you’re anything like Jeiri, you might not be familiar with the term “cultural broker”. That is why Jeiri is joined by Angela West. Angela is a multicultural specialist who serves families and professionals by educating them of the cultural impact on disability and connecting them to resources. In this episode, Angela is introducing you to what being a cultural broker is like. She talks about her experience being an individual with physical disabilities and the challenges she faces as she bridges the gap between different cultural backgrounds and the disability community. Angela also opens up about the impact she’s noticed on communities from her work such as seeing families gain access to resources which change their lives.

January 26, 2022

Creating Space for Diversity, Inclusivity, and Community-Based Conversations

Jeiri interviews George Gotto, the UCEDD Director at the University of Missouri Kansas City's Institute for Human Development. Jeiri asks George about his top focus as a director from removing barriers from programs to increasing diversity within the network’s leadership. George shares the obstacles he faces in his pursuit of creating a more equitable process. He talks about the challenges that come with diversifying staff and how working closely with human resources made things easier. Tune in as George shares his story, what motivates him, how he fell in love with community-based research and the impact that comes from it, and his advice for youths who are working towards being more active.

January 12, 2022

Growing Leaders in Self-Advocacy

Jairo Arana joins the AUCD Network Narratives podcast to share his advice on how we can improve self-advocacy curriculums within our programs. Jairo’s journey in self-advocacy began after being diagnosed late in life with autism and taking a three-day intensive pipeline leadership training program. This sparked his self-advocacy journey which eventually led him to become the full-time clinical program coordinator at the Mailman Center for Child Development. In this episode, Jairo shares his personal story of self-advocacy, leadership, and impact.  Jairo takes you behind the scenes of his leadership program and how finding his mentor impacted his work and self-advocacy journey.

December 29, 2021

Inclusivity and the Legacy of Disability Advocacy in Indigenous Cultures

Jeiri sits down with Jim Warne, who is the Director of Community Engagement and Diversity at the University of South Dakota’s Center for Disabilities Oyate’ Circle. The Oyate’ Circle addresses indigenous disability issues for South Dakota’s tribal nations. In their conversation, Jim shares his motivation and his why behind the Oyate’ Circle and the work that they do. Jim shares what disability and disability advocacy looks like within indigenous communities, and how he has found the strength to pave the way for future generations to come. Tune in as Jim and Jeiri share personal stories about their advocacy,  families, and the legacy they hope to leave behind.

December 15, 2021

Adapting to a New World of Service and the Language that Comes With It

When it comes to creating change within our network and communities, it is important to make sure that our resources are culturally and linguistically appropriate. Maribel Hernandez does just that in her important role at the Mind Institute. In this thoughtful conversation, Jeiri and Maribel discuss the hardest thing Maribel had to learn when she first adapted to this world of service and the new language that came with it. Maribel shares the value and comfort she found in her support group, especially as a Hispanic woman. Together, they discuss a dream situation in which families and individuals will have access to information in a careful step-by-step process after receiving a diagnosis, so they can avoid the anxiety and confusion that Googling can bring.

December 1, 2021

Using Storytelling to Connect Research and Lived Experience

Jeiri is joined by Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, an educator, writer, public speaker, parent, global advocate, a professional and disabled non-binary woman of color, and daughter of immigrants. They are also a member of the Autistic Researcher Review Board for the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) project. Morénike joins the show to share their expertise on storytelling, especially when it comes to including lived experiences in research and writing. They share their knowledge on researching and how new researchers can frame their process. Jeiri and Morénike both tell their stories of being a young advocate as a bilingual person of color. They have an important discussion on the need for respectful, affirming, and accurate language and the difference between person-first language versus identity-first language.

November 17, 2021

Leading Change in a Multicultural Environment

Kiriko Takahashi is the Interim Director of the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa with 20+ years of experience in working with people with disabilities. Originally from Japan, Kiriko came to the US to study the intersection of neurodevelopment and societal influence. Jeiri sits down with Kiriko to have a conversation about navigating and supporting a multicultural and diverse space. Kiriko shares her experiences in creating a mutually beneficial space in Hawai’i, covering projects in many different regions with many different cultures. She also shares her expert advice on reaching and connecting with people in isolated communities with different cultural identities and traditions.

November 3, 2021

Paving the Way for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity in Curriculums

Dr. Gail Chodron is on a mission to bring forth change by improving access to integrated systems for children with an autism spectrum disorder. She is the training director for the Wisconsin LEND and the coordinator of community training and technical assistance.Jeiri chats with Gail about what motivates her to incorporate equity, inclusion, and diversity into training curriculums. Gail also shares an important truth on why it isn’t the job of marginalized individuals to bring to light what others are excluding. However, she also discusses the importance of sharing lived experiences when it comes to advocacy and self-advocacy work.


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