Edmonton

Podcast aims to shatter stereotypes about living with a disability

Carly Neis and Laurel Carter's new podcast Disabled as Folk was recently lauched online

Two friends started a podcast to educate people on what it is like to live with a disability

Laurel Carter and Carly Neis are the hosts of the Disabled as Folk podcast. (Photo by Jordan Hon)

A new podcast aims to highlight the struggles two Edmonton friends face as people living with disabilities.

Carly Neis is an actor with cerebral palsy, and Laurel Carter is an event planner with visual impairment. The two have launched the podcast Disabled as Folk.

"Just because we're disabled folks doesn't necessarily mean it always has to be a soppy story," Neis told CBC Edmonton's Radio Active

Carter and Neis are using their podcast to showcase disability through education and a whole lot of humour. 

"We wanted people to be able to get to know us on a personal level, as well as kind of learn about disability, in a less formal or aggressive way," Carter said. 

"We're just trying to find humour in all the weird nuances of living with disability."

The podcast is split into three episodes, with a focus on bullying, language and what "ableism" means in today's day and age.

In the first episode the co-hosts tell their personal stories. They bring in guests for the remaining episodes. 

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"A lot of our conversations basically boiled down to how we're shoved in a box, have certain expectations, and how we break through that box," Neis said. "We're working really hard to change that outlook."

Through their podcast, they hope to challenge stereotypes about people living with disabilities. 

"I think the big one for both of us is obviously we're both able to hold down jobs," Neis said. She said that's possibly the biggest stereotype that she and Carter have to spend time disproving. 

Another stereotype: having able-bodied friends when society expects you not to.

"There are different things you have to navigate, but it's just like anyone else. We just need different accommodations to help with our access needs." Neis said.

Although Disabled as Folk got a three-episode grant from Telus Storyhive, the two hosts have plans to keep the show going. 

"We're just looking into what our options are also to get it on different platforms so that folks can listen to it outside of YouTube," Neis said. 

The two became friends eight years ago. Their disabilities brought them together but they bonded over many things.

Now they hope to bring more awareness and education to their "sighted and able-bodied counterparts" Neis said. 

Added Carter: "We're just trying to pass on messaging that at least we feel is beneficial to the community."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ishita Verma

Producer

Ishita Verma is an associate producer for CBC Edmonton, focusing on local and diverse voices in the city. Got a story? ishita.verma@cbc.ca.

With files from Liam Harrap

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