From our Archive: Americans Living with Disabilities
2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, promoting civil rights for Americans living with mental and physical conditions. In honor of the anniversary and in celebration of the powerful and varied experiences of people across America, StoryCorps recommends these Animated Shorts and Audio selections from our archive.
Young Josh, who has Asperger’s syndrome, came to StoryCorps with his mother, Sarah Littman and sat down for a one of a kind conversation. Josh questions his mom on an array of topics, from motherhood and parenting to her feelings about cockroaches.
>> Watch Q&A, the StoryCorps classic Animated Short here.
After surgery to remove a brain tumor, Gweneviere Mann lost her short-term memory. She was faced with many new obstacles, but she wasn’t alone. Her boyfriend, Yasir Salem was there with support and help to tackle all the new challenges thrown her way.
>> Watch Marking the Distance, this inspirational animation here.
Bonnie Brown was born with an intellectual disability, she has a low IQ. At StoryCorps, she talked with her then-teenage daughter, Myra. Her daughter ensures her mom, “Even though our situation is unique, I’m happy that I’m in it, because I’m happy that I’m with you.” Myra attends gifted and talented classes in her high school, she hopes to attend Cambridge University when she graduates.
>> Listen to more of this heartfelt interview right here.
“This was a man who I could stand with and love. He was a man among men. Your dad was a giant.”
Max Starkloff was in a near-fatal car accident that left him quadriplegic. Max was living in a nursing home when he came across a woman working there, Colleen. After two years of dating, Colleen and Max got married. In partnership with the Disability Visibility Project, their daughter, Meaghan and Colleen came to StoryCorps to remember Max.
>> Listen to their interview here.
“I didn’t know there were other blind people except me and my brothers.”
Triplets, Leo, Nick and Steven Angel have been blind since birth. Their mother had a difficult time raising them alone, rarely would they go outside. After meeting, Ollie Cantos, another blind man from the community, their lives changed. Ollie is in the process of formally adopting the brothers.
>> Listen to their conversation here.
“I wanted to own a restaurant ever since I was a kid.”
In 2010, Tim’s Place first opened their doors, this small family style restaurant in Albuquerque is known as “the world’s friendliest restaurant.” Tim Harris who lives with Down Syndrome, helped start this business with his father, Keith. At StoryCorps, they talked about life’s challenges and Tim’s role in the restaurant.
>> Listen to their interview right here.
“You gave up your life to give me a life.”
Sean Carter was a college student in Texas when he got into a car with a friend who had been drinking. They got into a serious car accident and Sean sustained a tramatic brain injury in the crash. Sean is now able to communicate with the aid of a computer, he is unable to walk and his mother, Jenny has become his full time caretaker. At StoryCorps, Sean let his mom know he loves her to the moon and back.
>> Listen to their conversation here.
“What made you decide you were going to be gay?”
Michelle Kreifels was born with an intellectual disability. She grew up on a farm in rural Nebraska with sixÂ other siblings, who all treated her the same. Michelle was a little closer to her brother, Patrick. They felt their differences brought them closer together.
>> Listen to their conversation here .
A PRIDE Playlist from StoryCorps Outloud
In honor of Pride month, StoryCorps is celebrating OutLoud stories all month long. StoryCorps OutLoud is dedicated to recording and preserving LGBTQ stories across America – we recognize the profound historical importance of capturing the stories of the LGBTQ community and the urgent need for this work to happen now.
Enjoy this playlist of great stories from the LGBTQ community, across the country, and across generations.
“He dropped me off in the middle of the night with a 5 dollar bill.”
Bryan Wilmoth grew up in a strict religious household, after his father found out he was gay, Bryan was kicked out of the house. Eventually, all of seven of his siblings estranged from home. On StoryCorps, Bryan talks with his young brother, Michael about reuniting all of their brothers and sisters. Watch A Good Man here.
“When I saw him coming, I ducked around the hall and hid from him.”
Patrick Haggerty grew up in rural Washington during the 1950s on a dairy farm. As a young teenager, Patrick started to discover he was gay but thought he kept it hidden. On StoryCorps, he recalls a day when his father, Charles Haggerty came to school during a school assembly to have a serious talk. Listen to Patrick tell his daughter about that talk here.
“I couldn’t be happier if you’re happy with your life. Plus, you help me with my hair sometimes.”
In a StoryCorps Animated Short Me & You, Jackie Miller shares a secret that she held from her son, Scott for many years. Together they reminisce over the time Scott came out. Hear the profound love they have for one another and watch Me & You right here.
“I went as macho as I could be to mask what I was underneath.”
Alexis Martinez grew up in a rough housing project on Chicago’s southside in the early 1960s. Back then her name was Arthur. When Alexis first came out to her mom as transgender at 13 or 14 years old, her mother called the police.
Lesley reassures her that she is loved. “You don’t have to apologize. You don’t have to tiptoe. You know, we’re not going to cut you off. And that is something that I’ve always wanted you to, you know, just know-that you’re loved.”
Listen to their heartfelt conversation here.
“Do you remember when we were 19, totally in love and couldn’t tell anyone?”
Bobbi Cote-Whitacre and her wife, Sandi were together for 33 years before they stood up in front of their friends and family and declared their love for each other. Before their beautiful wedding ceremony, they overcame a lot of discrimination. They talk about their journey. Listen here.