Inspiring Change Podcast

Episode 27: Grace and Grit – A Conversation with Judy Heumann, Temple Grandin, and Haben Girma

The OCALICON Rewind series continues featuring a conversation with three leaders, legends, and luminaries. Judy, Temple, and Haben come together for the first time to reflect on their work, contributions, and advocacy efforts over the years, and discuss how different ways of thinking, collaborating, and innovating are necessary to building a more inclusive world for everyone.

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Episode 26: Small Gestures and True Wins: The A+B=C Equation

OCALI’s Executive Director, Shawn Henry, discusses the necessary components of access and belonging when building community in closing remarks delivered at OCALICON.

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Episode 25: There Is Strength In Every Community: A Conversation about Special Education in Rural and Urban Settings

The Rewind series continues with a dialogue about the current state of disability education in both rural and urban settings. The conversations features leaders from ACRES, an organization focused on rural disability education and members of the Urban Collaborative, an organization focused on urban disability education.

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Episode 24: It’s Really About Living Your Moments Well With Other People

How can we build and foster better and more significant relationships? Using a framework grounded in research, Tim Vogt and Danyetta Najoli from Starfire in Cincinnati, and Jill Mays from PSU in Lebanon, OH, shared some thoughts, laughs, experiences, and recommendations for creating and supporting meaningful engagements, intentional connections, and stronger and more inclusive communities. This conversation was originally recorded as part of the 2022 Innovation Series, developed by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and OCALI.

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Episode 23: "We Get Stuff Done”: A Conversation about Women and Autism

The Rewind series resumes with a candid conversation with two autistic women and the parent of a young woman with autism as they share their personal stories of the journey to receiving a diagnosis, as well as the challenges that they faced in obtaining appropriate resources and services. Kelli Yeagley is a consultant, educator, and advocate specializing in autism, disability, and accessibility. Siena Castellon is author of The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide: How To Grow Up Awesome and Autistic and creator of the Quantum Leap Mentoring website. Susan Rothschild is the mother to a young woman on the autism spectrum, Chloe Rothschild, who was featured in Episode 5 – “It’s Different for Girls.” OCALI’s Amy Bixler Coffin and psychologist Dr. Ruth Aspy co-facilitate the discussion.

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Episode 22: "May the Power Be With You": The Margaret Burley Family Impact Award

Since 2016, OCALI has awarded the Margaret Burley Family Impact Award to a parent or professional who has made significant impact on the lives of families of those with disabilities. But who is Margaret Burley? And why is her work, impact, and legacy important enough to memorialize and honor through this annual award? We discuss with Donna Owens, OCALI’s former director of the Family and Community Outreach Center and unofficial resident historian. Links: Ohio Coalition for the Education of Students with Disabilities | Margaret Burley Family Impact Award

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Episode 21: “Those Children Are Going to Be Very Different”: The Ongoing Work of Building A Diverse and Inclusive Society

Sheila Graschinsky is the president and CEO of Fundación Ian, an organization in Buenos Aires focused on promoting a diverse and inclusive society. She collaborated with Mundoloco CGI to produce the short animated film Ian, which is based on a real life experience involving Sheila and her son, Ian. It’s a powerful piece that addresses discrimination and bullying and helps all of us understand why inclusion and diversity are so critically important to our society.

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Episode 20: The Smell of the Room is a Fire in My Nose: A Conversation on Autism and Trauma

Kim Clairy, OTR/L, and Kelly Mahler, OTD, OTR/L, challenge us to step beyond traditional thinking and understanding of trauma and reflect on how trauma is defined and experienced differently by people on the autism spectrum – including complications that can occur involving sensory challenges, social isolation, communication difficulties, and more. Kim further illustrates her own experiences with different forms of trauma in her life by sharing some of her candid and deeply personal poetry and writing. Learn more at Kim Clairy's website and Kelly Mahler's website

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Episode 19: Baked Into the Process: Advancing Equitable Outcomes Through the Lens of Social Justice

New! The Rewind podcast series features speakers, sessions, and stories from OCALICON – the premier autism and disabilities conference. Dr. Charles Barrett is a nationally-certified school psychologist, as well as a writer, musician, and teacher from Northern Virginia. His work is anchored by a focus on justice and equity, which represents his unwavering commitment to advocating for populations that have been marginalized by systemic oppression. Follow him at Charles Barrett's website. Twitter: @_charlesbarrett Instagram: @charlesabarrett

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Episode 18: Inclusion is the Future: A Conversation with Dani Bowman

Dani Bowman is an animator, filmmaker, author, teacher, student, and entrepreneur from Southern California. We first met in the summer of 2012 while she was teaching an animation camp to kids and young adults at our offices in Columbus. Dani was still in high school at the time. Fast forward eight years, and we wanted to check in and see how things are going – with her animation company, her continued studies, her animation camps, and her ongoing mission to change the world’s perception of autism. Learn more about Dani’s projects and her online animation courses at her website.

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Episode 17 “We Are All Able”: A Conversation with LeDerick Horne on Vision, Inclusion, and Belonging

OCALI’s Jen Bavry and Shawn Henry chat with poet, speaker, and advocate LeDerick Horne about his experiences as a young man with disabilities, his work towards helping give young people a vision for what is possible, and the fresh world of opportunities that opens up when you’re freed from the tyranny of spelling.

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Episode 16: Gabby’s Team: A Multiagency Approach to Transition

A conversation with Gabby Kozinski, a recent high school graduate from Bucyrus, OH, and the multi-agency group of professionals who have been her support team as she gets ready for the next phase in her journey. Learn more: Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities | View Map of Ohio County Boards of Developmental Disabilities | Ohio Employment First

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Episode 15: “It Gives You Teeth”: Reflections on the 30-Year Anniversary of the ADA

July 2020 marks the 30-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law by the first President Bush in 1990.We talk to D’Arcee Neal, Diana Mairose, and Mark Seifarth – three people from three different generations – about what the ADA means to them, what it does for them, where it misses the mark, and their recommendations going forward as the journey continues.

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Episode 14: We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For

Our second vodcast episode features Sarah Buffie’s keynote address at the 2020 Transformation Summit. "How might we co create this new chapter together? I believe it starts by going within. It starts by recognizing and honoring the resilience that lies within each one of us. When we can understand and make explicit the ways in which our own resilience carries us through difficult times, we are more able to honor and recognize the resilience in others.

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Episode 13: "We Are in This Together, and We Need to Stay Connected" – How Ohio’s Daily COVID-19 Update has Elevated Awareness About the Importance of Access (Audio Version)

We chat with Marla Berkowitz, Lena Smith, and Christy Horne – the superstar team of ASL interpreters for Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s daily COVID-19 press conferences. John Moore of DSC is the discussion moderator. Music from Sean Forbes.

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Episode 12: "We Are in This Together, and We Need to Stay Connected" – How Ohio’s Daily COVID-19 Update has Elevated Awareness About the Importance of Access

Our first vodcast episode! We chat with Marla Berkowitz, Lena Smith, and Christy Horne – the superstar team of ASL interpreters for Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s daily COVID-19 press conferences. John Moore of DSC is the discussion moderator. Music from Sean Forbes.

Episode 11: An Inspiring Conversation with Kim Clairy and William Miller

Kim Clairy is an occupational therapist, consultant, poet, and self-advocate. Her husband, William Miller, is a writer and novelist. The two of them sat down with us during a short open mic interview at OCALICON 2019 to share the story of how they met, and give a glimpse into how their marriage works.

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Episode 10: “I Feel Like I’m in School All Over Again”: More Tales from Home Schooling During A Global Pandemic

We chat with an intervention specialist and two parents from Lancaster, OH, about what it’s like to try and educate and engage students while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rachael Mills teaches first through third grade students at Medill Elementary. Bridget Kelly is the mother of third grade student, Damian. Ben Berger is the father of first grade student Evelyn. Hint: Patience and flexibility are key. It also helps when you can tag out and take a short break. And know that it’s going to be okay.

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Episode 9: Pull Out the Christmas Lights and Create a Dance Studio: Direct Care and Residential Programs During a Global Pandemic

REM Ohio provides an array of supports and services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, most of which involve direct, face-to-face, hands-on, and physical proximity. So how do these services continue in the era of social distancing? We discuss with Buffie LaBelle, regional director for the East region of the state, and Heather Reynolds, a program supervisor.

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Episode 8 – Words Matter: How Do You Deliver Special Education Services During a Worldwide Pandemic?

We chat with a multiple disabilities teacher and parent of a first grader and learn about their tag-team efforts to continue education during the school shut down.

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Episode 7 – The Crow Master

Our new series – “Voices, Visions, and Victories” – continues with a conversation with Katie Robinson, accessible educational materials production specialist in the AT&AEM Center at OCALI. We talk about the challenges of working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, friendly encounters with strangers, paying attention to purple wildflowers, and her murder of crows.

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Episode 6 – Playing Pictionary with Ketchup: A Conversation on Trauma, Connections, and Healing with Sarah Buffie, Soul Bird Consulting

In the first episode in "Voices, Visions, and Victories" – our new series produced during the COVID-19 pandemic – we chat with Sarah Buffie about trauma's impact on the brain and body, cultivating intentional social practices during a period of isolation, getting curious together, and incorporating more engagement in our physical surroundings – which might include singing, dancing, or even playing with expired condiments during times of quarantine. Learn more and connect with Sarah at

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Episode 5 – It’s Different for Girls: A Conversation with Four Women on the Spectrum

A panel discussion with four autistic women about their diagnosis, their work, their personal and professional relationships, and their communities. Moderated by Dr. Ruth Aspy and Dr. Barry Grossman, licensed psychologists specializing in assessment and intervention for people with ASD. Recorded live at OCALICON 2019. You can find Kim Clairy’s poetry here.

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Episode 4: An Inspiring Conversation with Alicia Shoults and Angela Krile of the Ohio State Fair

How do you "dial back the fair" and create a sensory-friendly experience in an environment that can often trigger sensory overload? Listen to our full interview with Alicia Shoults, marketing and public relations director for the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair, and Angela Krile, vice chair of the Ohio Expositions Commission.

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Episode 3: An Inspiring Conversation with Kevin Miller

We catch up with director Kevin Miller from Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities at the ODNR park at the Ohio State Fair.

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Episode 2: A Day at the Fair: The First Sensory Friendly Morning at the Ohio State Fair

“It’s her first time out in a big outing like this. She’s non-verbal, and she’s just loving it.”

Let’s spend a day at the Fair! We profile the first ever Sensory Friendly Morning at the 166th Ohio State Fair. Find out what happens when you lower the lights and sounds of the midway and take additional steps towards accommodating the needs of those with sensory challenges.

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Episode 1: Shifting Expectations: Reflections on Ohio’s Continued Transition Towards Community Employment and Individual Choice

“How do we build a better community together?” Many people with disabilities have historically found work in what are commonly referred to as sheltered workshops. These are typically spaces where they perform repetitive tasks such as stuffing envelopes or shredding documents. Since 2012 – if not before – Ohio has been shifting away from this type of employment model towards one where community employment and individual choice are the preferred outcomes for people with disabilities. How is that move going? We catch up with some of the professionals behind the scenes and on the front lines during their annual gathering in Columbus.

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Episode 0: Inspiring Change Teaser

“Yeah, like I said, it’s her first time out in a big outing like this. She’s nonverbal, and she’s just loving it.”

In our teaser episode, we get a quick taste from Episode 2 – “A Day at the Fair.” We chat with a few of the participants in the first ever sensory friendly morning at the Ohio State Fair.

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