Amid the constant news updates and case numbers, we can sometimes lose track of people’s individual stories. Podcasts present an opportunity to hear people’s experiences in their own words, or to be transported through sound. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re listening to perspectives from the disability community, tales of daily life and “the new normal,” and powerful stories from the world of theatre.
Check out our recommended listening below:
Self-Advocates Share How They’re Coping
Last week, Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS) and Self-Advocate Leadership Network (SALN) released their first podcast episode, “Don’t Forget About Us.” Hosted by Alexander Magnussen, the episode centres on a single question: How are you coping during COVID-19?
The self-advocates talk about the things they miss, like playing sports or being able to sit at a coffee shop, and share how they’re staying connected with friends. The group also shares their perspectives on how COVID-19 impacts people with developmental disabilities. For example, they list some of the reasons it is important to share information in plain language. They also talk about what kind of support is most helpful right now, and the challenges they’ve faced in day-to-day life during this pandemic.
Listen to the episode here: SALN Podcast: How Are You Coping?
Life on the Spectrum is a podcast for families living with Autism hosted by broadcaster and special education assistant Katie Bennison. In the episode “Coping with COVID,” Katie checks in with families in the autism community about how things are going at home during the pandemic.
Listen to the episode here: Life on the Spectrum: Coping with COVID
An Artist and Advocate Talks Disability and Distancing
The Yellow Jack podcast features interviews with people in self-isolation. In the episode “What Choice Have I Got?” host Robert Ouimet spoke to Amy Amantea. Amy is an actor and artist, as well as an accessibility consultant and advocate for the disability community. She talked about her own experience of self-isolation and discussed the challenges that people with disabilities are facing in this period of physical distancing.
Amy is also a member of the board at Reelwheels Theatre, which shares the lived experience of people with disabilities through performance. She describes how they’ve kept their community project going, working at a distance. There have been challenges in moving the creative process online, but the theatre is finding new ways to keep the community connected.
Listen to the episode or read the transcript here: Yellow Jack: What Choice Have I Got?
The LowDOWN on Optimizing Physical and Mental Health
The latest episode The LowDOWN, from the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation (DSRF), is about optimizing physical and mental health for adults with Down syndrome. Hosts Marla Folden and Hina Mahmood talk with Dr. Brian Chicoine about maintaining a healthy body and mind during this stressful time and beyond.
Listen to the episode here: The LowDOWN: A Down Syndrome Podcast Episode 3
AMI-audio Discusses COVID-19
AMI-audio, from Accessible Media Inc., has been discussing the impact of the coronavirus. Their shows NOW with Dave Brown, The Pulse, and Kelly and Company bring listeners the latest news and stories from across the country.
Here are a few episodes to get you started:
- Parenting and social distancing during COVID-19 – Parent Becki Zerr shares how she and her 10-year-old son are coping during the pandemic.
- A plain language guide to understanding CERB – Dr. Jennifer Robson discusses her plain-language guide to emergency financial supports available for people impacted by COVID-19.
- Accessible At-Home Games – David Dennis and Debbie Eva Williams talk about resources for accessible games to try at home.
- Coping during COVID-19 – Dr. Kim Hellemans, co-host of the podcast Minding the Brain, discusses the impact of social isolation on mental health and stress.
Over the past month, AMI’s shows have covered everything from fitness to the arts to pet grooming at home. To listen to more, including segments from their latest programs, browse AMI’s collection of segments relating to the pandemic on their website.
The Show Must Go On: Bringing Theatre into Your Home
COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of life, including the arts. Instead of gathering in person, artists and performers are finding ways to bring the arts into our homes—including through podcasts.
The podcast PlayME, a project from Expect Theatre in partnership with the CBC, has been turning contemporary Canadian plays into audio dramas for years. Since 2016, they have made Canadian theatre accessible to audiences across the country and around the world. With theatres closed during the coronavirus pandemic, they’ve launched a new series called The Show Must Go On.
It includes a lineup of shows that have been cancelled or disrupted by COVID-19. The first show in the series was Carried Away on the Crest of a Wave, which was cancelled just before its opening at the Arts Club in Vancouver. At the centre of the show is a natural disaster—the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Through nine interwoven stories, it reveals the interconnectedness of our experiences and ultimately presents a pathway to hope.
You can subscribe on your favourite podcast app or find the episodes on PlayME’s website.
Looking for more information about COVID-19 or things to do while in isolation at home? Check out our COVID-19 Resources page.