Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's The Attitude

Listen 28 min

If you are one of these people, you should listen to this show:

Do you often know more than your doctor?

Do you freeze up when someone says, ”How are you?”

Have you ever done something

you know will make you sick?

Do you believe you personally

caused your own illness

or other problem?

Do you believe your disability

or other problems were caused

by the Great Sea Monkey?

Do you have cancer or know someone with cancer?

Do you hate chess?

Have you ever had to fight

with a drug or insurance company?

Do you like to laugh?

Carolyn's book recommendations:

Illness as a Metaphor

Susan Sontag

A Spot of Bother

Mark Hadden

Carolyn Epple, who lives

with bladder cancer and

chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

(and happens to be a cultural anthropologist)

joins Shelley Berman &

Adrienne Lauby, the Asthmatic Amazon,

in the studio.

Halloween photos courtesy of

Redwood Rainbow Square Dance Club

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Reckoned and the Reckoning

Listen 28 min.

Drawing by Neil Marcus

We celebrate Winter Solstice,
the day the earth turns back to the light.

George Louie
one of the plaintiffs in the Contra Costa pedestrian access lawsuit,
speaks frankly about his role
in this controversial case.

In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) activists
Tom Ross
Carman Rivera-Hendrickson
Kenneth C. Johnson
Cheryl Powell Smith

Shelley Berman, Eddie Ytuarte, Leah Gardner, and Adrienne Lauby
send out year-end honors,
raspberries to the inexcusable,
blueberries to the indestructible.

Janus (or Ianus), the Roman god of gates, doorways, beginnings and endings

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Archives Return
Want to hear a past program from Pushing Limits? Just click on the title to the right! (This is part of our effort to revive the archives we lost early this year.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dancing With Disability

Listen (29 min.)
This program is dedicated
to the memory of Peggy Hecker,
long time Pushing Limits member,
who died earlier this year.

The complex history of the word cripple

How to include

people with verbal, cognitive,

developmental, emotional

and other discounted disabilities

The story of a disabled woman

powering a diesel truck

through the Australian desert

Excerpts from a steamy love story called Cripple Poetics.

Wha Hoo!

Performance artists and poets join us in the studio!

Neil Marcus

Petra Kuppers

Amber DiPietra

Audio describer, Lakshmi Fjord

Produced by Adrienne Lauby


by Amber DiPietra

Set to music and sung by Mindy Dillard

A seashore inside her, she is


in the shallows

of a short

nap's trip


and when

you put your arm leg hand near

enough to mine all my

cheek cells will come wading, swinging

lanterns and singing, out to

meet you


Somatics/Expression Disability Culture Workshops

with Neil Marcus and Petra Kuppers

Two Sundays, December 20 & 27, 2009, 3-5 pm

Subterranean Arthouse,

2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley,

Suggested donation: $15.

no one turned away for lack of funds.

Next Performance
March 19th at 8pm.

Subterranean Arthouse,

2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley,

Neil played a clip from the 1950 film

Cyrano de Bergerac

and joined José Ferrer in this statement:

No thank you, no, I thank you,

and again I thank you.

Neil & Jose: To sing, To laugh

To walk in my own way

free with an eye to see things as they are

Neil: A Poet!

A voice that means manhood.

To [put?] my head where I choose.

Not a word, a Yes,

Neil & Jose: a No

To fight

Neil and Jose: for right

But never to make a line

I have not heard in my own heart.

Original air date: December 4, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Get In The Game

Listen 28 min.

Who says a one-armed man can't pitch a no-hitter or
shoot for
the net in a Division I college basketball game?

photo by Neil Marcus
Who says a deaf man can't wield the bat
in a
major league baseball game?

And who says disabled kids
don't make good athletes?

A discussion of possibility,
triumph -- and kids.

Commentator Gary Gray, who covers disabled athletes at and on his internet radio program, Gray Leopard Cove.

U.S. Adaptive Ski Team

Doug Pringle, President of the Far West chapter of Disabled Sports USA

Hosted by Eddie Ytuarte and Leah Gardner.

Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP)
Activities for youth include wheelchair basketball, power soccer, track and field and hand cycling.
For adults, they have the same sports plus goalball.
BORP's outings and adventures program offers hiking, skiing and other outdoor expeditions.

Tandems Across the Bay is composed of a number of volunteers with tandem bicycles. They offer excursions on weekends and some holidays. These trips often start in San Francisco in the Fisherman's Wharf area. For more info, e-mail

The Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (BAADS)
They meet every Sunday at noon from Pier 40 in Sf.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Disability Rights California

Listen (28 min)

Do non-profits operate
under too narrow
a charge?

Are they just plain
too conservative?

Catherine Blakemore

Eddie Ytuarte and Leah Gardner puts these questions to Catherine Blakemore, the executive director of one of the highest funded disability non-profits focused on California issues, Disability Rights California (DRC) -- It's also one of the most successful.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sins Invalid

Take a good look
in the mirror.

Do you feel pride
in what you see?

Pushing Limits
ogles --
Beauty in the Face of Invisibility.

Listen, 28 min.

Nomy Lamm
photo by Richard Downing

Leah Gardner interviews Patricia Berne and Nomy Lamm from the groundbreaking organization, Sins Invalid.

This troupe of artists and performers use storytelling, music and dance to demonstrate
that disabled bodies are beautiful. Artistic director Patricia Berne and performer Nomy Lamm will discuss their work with Sins Invalid as well as what it takes to break down the barriers of shame and fear to create beauty

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Best Websites For California Budget Advocacy

IHSS Coalition
Consumers, Providers and Advocates
Working Together to Protect and Improve
California's Home Care

Disability Rights California
California's Advocacy and Protection System

A website of in-depth information

They will send copies to people without web access.


United Domestic Workers of America

Serving Homecare Providers

across California

Bi-Lingual, English and Spanish.

(619) 641-1190
(800) 621-5016

Oakland Rally 10-19-09
in support of lawsuit challenging IHSS cuts

County Welfare Directors
Association of California

To promote a human services system that encourages self-sufficiency of families and communities, and protects vulnerable children and adults from abuse and neglect.
Sacramento, CA
916-443-3202 FAX

California Communities United Institute
Coordinates timely letters and e-mails to California
committee members and the full Senate
and House on
a variety of progressive issues.
Features regular updates of
California budget actions.

Friday, October 16, 2009

IHSS Appeals and Daily Help

(Picture: University of Alaska at Anchorage, Disability Support Services
Appeal Assistance

1. Training and Orientation for IHSS Appeal Assistance Volunteer Corps. Westside Center for Independent Living Los Angeles, IHSS appeal mechanics and our Volunteer Corps process, quality control, confidentiality, and record keeping. Call Janet (323) 294-4565

2. Recorded message about appealing the cuts, in English and Spanish: 1-877-601-4477 receive additional information on what to do.

3. In San Francisco: CRIL (415) 703-0286

Help with Daily Living

1. Tuesday Lunch Group
Every Tuesday, U.C. Berkeley, Bear's Lair 12-1 pm
can be fed, no money required.
With a day's notice, Serene Vannoy will do lunch
Monday through Thursday with anyone who needs it.
Disabled Students' Program office on Upper Sproul.
(510) 643-6473
(510) 642-6376 TTY

2. Ongoing Discussion and Coordination
of Community-Based Help in the East Bay.
Send a blank email to

3. Free Assisted Lunch
"a while back I had checked with St. Vincent de Paul's on San Pablo Avenue in the East Bay. If people with disabilities go there for their free lunch, they will provide a person to help feed you if that is necessary."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Service Cuts -- Will You Stand With Us?

Listen. 29 min
Original air date: Friday, Oct 16, 2:30 pm

KPFA, 94.1 fm

Critical cuts and unannounced home visits have begun for people with disabilities who rely on California’s In Home Support Services (IHSS).

Pushing Limits talks to Bobby Bogan. Executive Director of Seniors Organizing Seniors.

graphic by Soujaboy

Bogan sees both fear and courage as the State of California implements massive cuts.

On November 1st, 130 thousand people will be reduced or axed from the IHSS program. Over 450 thousand people face unannounced home visits and routine fingerprinting. Seniors, people living with AIDS and the developmentally disabled community face similar and overlapping slashes to programs they depend on.

Bobby Bogan’s San Franciso organization based in the South of Market area, Seniors Organizing Seniors, deals with the effect of these cuts first hand.

He joins Pushing Limits producers, Eddie Ytuarte, Adrienne Lauby and Nick Feldman.

Tune in to hear:

--stories of resistance,

--stories of community self-help, and

--advice about appealing individual cuts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Letter From IHSS?

If you received a notice like this,
file an appeal today or tomorrow!

(See below for a
sample appeal l
etter. )

Send it to
State Hearings Division,
California Department of Social Services,
744 P Street, MS 19-97,
Sacramento, CA 95814-6413.

You can also request a hearing by calling
(800) 952-5253 or TDD: (800) 952-8349

You have the right to appeal regardless of what the notice says. If you cannot travel to the hearing office, you can request an in home hearing which is required by the judgment in the case of Tesluck vs. Swoap.

Keep a copy of the request for hearing you send.


Your Name ________________________________

Your Address_______________________________


Your Phone Number _________________________

Date ______________________


State Hearing Division

California Department of Social services

744 “P” Street, MS 19-97

Sacramento, CA 95814-6413

Regarding: Request for Hearing

Case No.: ____________________

Dear People,

I am appealing the 9/16/09 IHSS notice form that I received AID PAID PENDING. The notice is not understandable. I do not know if the notice applies to me because there is no particularized information. The notice says I do not have a right to a hearing. But that is not correct. I do have a right to a hearing, if the notice does not explain what action is being taken and how it applies to me. I am requesting that my IHSS aid be continued at the same level until my hearing, even if I requested this hearing after 10/1/09. This notice does not comply with the federal or state regulations and therefore my aid must continue.

Yes__ No___ I need a home hearing because I cannot get to the hearing office for my hearing. A home hearing is required for all those who cannot make it to the downtown (or to the county location in other counties) hearing office as per the class action Judgment of Tesluck v. Swoap.


Your Name

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

IHSS Appeals -- Make a Huge Difference

This urgent appeal toward a grassroots network comes from a group in L.A. It could be utilized around the state and replicated specifically in each county.

As you probably know, there are thousands of In-Home Supportive Services consumers who are threatened with losing their in-home services on November 1. The Personal Assistance Services Council is organizing an Appeal Assistance Volunteer Corps to work with IHSS consumers who want help to file an appeal.

I am contacting you because you may know people who would be interested in participating in this Volunteer Corps. I know that you are already very busy and, hopefully, you can suggest 1 or 2 people who would be interested in doing this. After you send me their names, I will call them to talk about the program and see if they are interested. If you would rather call them, feel free to forward the attached description for their information. For people who want to participate, we are scheduling a 3-hour training session by October 16th.

As the attached description outlines, we are looking for IHSS consumers, advocates, parents, and/or retirees. We will provide training, materials, and on-going assistance as they work with the consumers who call in for help. Generally speaking, the work with the consumers can be done on the phone.

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. With the state sending the notice of action to consumers by October 19th, we need to act fast. I hope to hear from you by the end of this week, October 9th.

This is a very important undertaking and I thank you for your help. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Janet

Janet Heinritz-Canterbury, M.S.W
Board Treasurer, Personal Assistance Services Council for IHSS
4434 9th Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90043
(323) 294-4565

4730 Woodman Avenue, Suite 405, Sherman Oaks, California 91423
Tel: (818) 206-7000 Fax: (818) 206-8000 Toll Free: (877) 565-4477 TTY: (818) 206-7015


What is the IHSS Appeal Assistance Volunteer Corps?
Recent legislation has drastically changed the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program. One of the changes will result in the loss of some or all services for certain IHSS consumers.

These IHSS consumers have the right to appeal changes in their services. The IHSS Appeal Assistance Volunteer Corps will help these consumers file and go through the appeal process. This Volunteer Corps includes individuals familiar with IHSS and, ideally, with the IHSS hearing process from the Personal Assistance Services Council (PASC), United Cerebral Palsy, CALIF, Ability First, SEIU-ULTCW, AARP, and many other organizations and networks.

The Volunteer Corps members will be trained in the specifics of IHSS and how to file and prepare for an appeal. The PASC will provide training, informational materials, and forms to keep track of consumers who Corps members assist between now and the actual hearing date which may be several months from now. The PASC will also talk with Volunteer Corps members periodically about their cases and provide assistance if necessary.

How does the Volunteer Corps work?
The State Department of Social Services will send a notice of action to these consumers by October 19, 2009. The PASC is also sending a letter saying we can help with their appeal if the consumers call us at our 800 number. We expect that consumers will begin to call for help after they receive the Notice of Action or when they receive the PASC letter.

When the consumers call, the PASC will refer them to a Volunteer Corps member who can help them with their appeal. The Volunteer Corps member will have intake and follow-up forms and will have informational materials to answer questions that come up as they work with the consumer. Generally speaking this assistance will take place over the phone. Volunteer Corps members will also go out to senior centers and community centers to make presentations and provide one-on-one assistance to consumers who attend these presentations.

Who are the Volunteer Corps members and what will they do?
* They are IHSS consumers, seniors, parents, advocates, retirees, and/or are part of a network
* They are organized, keep good records, and pay attention to detail
* They are advocates and people who know about IHSS or social services
* They receive training, including role plays, on procedures and outcomes of the hearing process
* They do lengthy phone conversations and keep records on potentially complicated situations

How can I or my organization participate?
If you are or know an IHSS consumer who has been through the appeals process, or know an advocate, activist, parent and a person who is willing to volunteer for this program, please contact, Janet Heinritz-Canterbury, (323) 294-4565 or email Janet at:

People with disabilities need help now, please call as soon as possible!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Settling for Defeat (Update)

Judge David Flinn rejected the tentative settlement re. Contra Costa county pedestrian access rights. Apparently he received a lot of comments against the settlement and not too much support for it. He pretty much had made up his mind, even before he began the hearing.

In fact, it was so one sided that neither Plaintiff attorney Morse Mehrban, nor anyone from his Los Angeles law office, showed up. The plaintiffs attorney seemed to be lost. Morse did send a "messenger" with three pages of notes; literally a messenger. Judge Flinn cautioned the messenger that this class action matter was a very serious law case and he should be careful as to how he is employed in such situations. The Judge was not very happy about the counsel's absence and that pretty much sealed his decision to overturn his initial ruling in favor of the settlement.

The judge will schedule another hearing in about sixty days. This hearing will be for the purpose of the possibility of coming up with a different settlement. The attorney for the cities will still be involved as well as anyone from the much expanded members of the class; or those who commented on the suit, including Terry Kilpatrick, the attorney who appeared on Pushing Limits.

Presumably, the original three plaintiffs and their "lost" attorney Mehrban would still be free to try to fashion a new settlement. This turn of events was very unusual in Judge Flinn's courtroom. In most cases, there are few objections once settlements of this kind are initially approved. But losing the counsel for the temporarily victorious three plaintiffs is an almost unheard of situation. Well, Attorney Mehrban got his little butt spanked pretty good this time by aware and knowledgeable members of the disability class.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wildfires, Earthquakes, and Hurricanes, oh my...

Are people with disabilities ready for a disaster?

Listen to program. 29 min

We talk to Ana-Marie Jones and Tracy Baker of Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disaster (CARD) about how to prepare.

Karla Gilbride, of Disability Rights Advocates, a Berkeley legal non-profit, also talks about their suit against both Oakland and L.A. for their lack disability access in emergency planning. The suit changes Oakland with
* The failure to conduct adequate surveys of the accessibility of potential shelter sites, resulting in a list that contains many inaccessible shelters;
* The failure to revise the City’s Mass Care and Shelter Plan from the 1980s to address the needs of men, women, and children with disabilities;
* The failure to make arrangements to provide prescriptions, medical supplies and equipment, or accessible transportation to people with disabilities in an emergency.

On August 12, the National Council on Disabilities released a Report on Emergency Management sub-titled "Making Improvements for Communities and People with Disabilities." Here's some inclusive planning, except--oops -- they forgot prisons.

We can't ever forget that more and more people with disabilities, especially mental disabilities, are housed in prisons and jails. Many baby boomers live within the enormous U.S. prison-industrial complex and they aren't becoming more able-bodied as the months pass by.

Hosted by John Healy, with tips by Adrienne Lauby.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Settling for Defeat?

Listen to the show
28 minutes

UPDATE: 9-23-09

Has a private attorney (with t
he cooperation of just three people with disabilities) gone too far in concocting an unusual class action settlement agreement affecting fourteen cities in Contra Costa? The proposed settlement allots five percent of a city’s gas tax on the condition that people with disabilities be prohibited from taking legal action having to do with pedestrian access--for the next 30 years.

Disability access specialist Richard Skaff and attorney Terry Kilpatrick discuss this controversy with hosts Adrienne Lauby and Eddie Ytuarte.

The 14 cities are Antioch, Brentwood, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Martinez, Moraga, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo, and Walnut Creek

If you to object to the proposed class-action settlement, do something about it. Please be aware that all objections must be in writing and postmarked no later than September 8, 2009. You can either object in writing or you can write to the attorneys and the court to let them know that you plan to appear at the Superior Court hearing in Martinez at 9 a.m on September 22, 2009. You can also go to the hearing and hope to be allowed to speak. Either way, please write and get your objections on file by September 8th. A copy of your objection must be sent to each of the following people:

1. Morse Mehrban, Esq.
Law Offices of Morse Mehrban
12100 Wilshire Blvd., 8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90005-1206
(Attorney for Plaintiffs)

2. Eugene B. Elliot
Bertrand, Fox & Elliot
The Waterfront Building
2749 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(Attorney for Defendants)

3. Honorable David B. Flinn, Dep. 6
Contra Costa County Superior Court
725 Court Street
Martinez, CA 94553
(Judge Assigned to the Case)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Smoke and Vaporizers --

Medical Marijuana and Disability

The fascinating intersection between disability and medical marijuana.

Bill Fold aka the man who replaced his anti-depressant, Wellbutrin, with medical marijuana.
Steve Howdyshell, a gulf war vet who lives
with the multiple side effects of war.

Lisa Gygax, an attorney living with a disability,
who represents The Organic Cannabis Foundation
Northern California, a collective of patients and their
primary caregivers, which runs the largest
medical marijuana
dispensary in the top half of the state.

Hosted by Shelley Berman and Adrienne Lauby.
Original air date: 8-7-09

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Correction-SSI Cuts

There is a reduction in SSI/SSP grants in this California Budget. On Friday's program we said that SSI had gotten a pass. However, starting October 1, 2009, SSI/SSP will cut $5-per-month from individuals and cut couples to the federal minimum. The maximum grant for an individual will drop from $850 to $845, and the maximum grant for couples will drop from $1,489 to $1,407. This is especially traumatic for many couples.

In addition, the Democrats also agreed to put our Cost Of Living Allowances (COLA) into the pot that requires a 2/3rd majority vote. Will we ever get a yearly 5-15 buck raise again? Stay

Thanks to the listener who first brought this to our attention.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beyond the Devastation

Stop Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's new line-item veto budget cuts. Contact Speaker Karen Bass and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and urge them to call legislators back to Sacramento to override the cuts

Download this Program 26 min
Evan LeVang and John B. Kelly talk about

what California's people with disabilities
can do to stop the slide toward death and
nursing homes.

Disability rights activists regroup after passage of a criminal California budget that devastated IHSS, Medi-Cal, Cal-Works, cities, regional centers, AIDS programs and more.

John Kelly works with Neighborhood
Access Group (NAG)
a grass-roots
organization dedicated to improving

street-level access in Boston. His
writing has appeared
in the Boston
Globe, Counter Punch, and the Ragged Edge.

Evan LeVang is Executive Director of Independent Living
Services of Northern California. He is also the founder
of DOGFITE, Disability Organizing Group for Initiating
Total Equality, ”an advocacy group which includes universal
health care, tax justice, immigrant rights and no offensive
military spending among it's goals.

Hosted by Adrienne Lauby and Eddie Ytuarte

photo by John B. Kelly
No Room on this Sidewalk for You!
Neighborhood Access Group

dog cartoon courtesy of D.O.G.F.I.T.E.