Saturday, June 20, 2015

Catching Up On "Ouch"

BBC Ouch: Disability Talk logo
A couple of evenings ago, I decided to catch up on a backlog of podcast episodes of Ouch: Disability Talk, the BBC's program dedicated to disability issues and culture. I keep forgetting how good the show is.

The hosts seem to have similar beliefs about disability as the activist disability bloggers I read, but they sound like they don't have to try as hard to express those beliefs.

They are casual and breezy ... aware, but not angry.

They are plain spoken, and steer clear of insider jargon.

They don't reject so-called Political Correctness, but they seem less anxious about it than one might expect.

Ouch gives equal voice to a broad spectrum of disabled people, including some with beliefs and ways of talking about disability that I don't like, that make me uncomfortable. Everyone gets a fair chance to say their piece. Meanwhile, the hosts ask probing questions, but don't pass judgment.

Of course they are British, and I like the way they say things, one minute funny:
"I was like, shuffling around like a granny, even more than I usually do."
The next, insightful:
“I think it’s true that people do want to get diversity. But it’s almost as if people want the “easy” disabilities ... I put that in very marked quotation marks … but you know they don’t want to deal with complex disabilities where lots of changes have to be made."
Ouch's hosts and guests often state flat-out some things we often think, but struggle to express:
Interviewer Kate Monaghan: "Surely all parents just want the best for their child?"
Guest Tracey Abbott: "Ah, all parents want their child to be as safe as they can be, and happy. That doesn’t necessarily equate to them going out and getting a job."
It's worth noting that later in the same show, Ms. Abbott says some pretty ignorant, borderline hateful things about what does and doesn't constitute a "real disability," which prompted a good deal of polite but sharp discussion among the hosts and guests.

And who could resist a show on disability with episode titles like:

“You walk funny"
Losing a leg, and being mugged
Who can use accessible loos?

I will be listening to Ouch more regularly.