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NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea was a fiddle teacher and performer in Duluth, Minnesota when she was encouraged by a friend to submit her song " Someday We'll Linger in the Sun" to the second ever NPR Tiny Desk contest in 2016. All Songs Considered Host Bob Boilen told NPR that when the judges of the competition heard Lea’s song they were completely floored.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

At 8:30 a.m. on a Friday morning in Torrington, a group of counselors in lime green shirts gathered around the flag pole at Camp MOE for a quick game of WAH.

It was the last day of camp for the season — they were waiting for director Katherine Marchand-Beyer to make the morning announcements before children arrive. 

Favarh

In the Farmington Valley, a nonprofit organization aims to break down silos and build bridges in the community through apartment housing. This hour, we learn about Favarh and its unique initiative to build a more integrated living experience for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Plus, at Quinnipiac University, students can apply to live not in a dorm but with residents at a Masonicare assisted living facility. We learn about the Students in Residence program, and we also hear from you. 

Bain News Service / Flickr Creative Commons

The concept of the early 20th century sideshow evokes images of bearded ladies, sword swallowers and exotic  'others' exhibited as 'freaks' before audiences both lured and repelled by what they saw.

A Fidelco guide dog wearing a harness
Tikeyah Whittle / Connecticut Public Radio

Read a transcript of  this show here.

This hour, guest host Ray Hardman takes you to Fidelco -- the guide dog school in Bloomfield, Connecticut where we meet some guide dogs in training.  And we talk with guide dog users about the impact these animals have on their lives.

We also speak with author and poet Stephen Kuusisto, who’s written a memoir about his first guide dog, Corky.   

Cloe Poisson/Connecticut Public Radio

As she sat with her newborn in the hospital bed after a long and painful labor, an exhausted Corrine Walters held her son close, rocking him in her tired arms. Her first child. She smiled at him.

“Hi Jackson, you’re here, finally!” Corinne remembered saying. “I’m your mom!”

Read the full story, view videos in American Sign Language, and listen to the radio documentary at wnpr.org/makingsense.

Bain News Service / Creative Commons

The concept of the early 20th century side show evokes images of bearded ladies, sword swallowers and exotic  'others' exhibited as 'freaks' before audiences both lured and repelled by what they saw.

Bruce Gillespie's illustrations of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, framed on a wall.
Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public Radio

After a terrible fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the world is mourning damage to an architectural marvel and a holy space. This hour, we look at the interplay of religion and art. How can a physical structure like the cathedral carry such spiritual weight?

A Special Ed Lawyer Who's Walked In His Clients' Shoes

Feb 25, 2019
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

When he was young, Michael Gilberg knew how to make a point.

"My mother always said when I was 8, I would make a good attorney because I was good at arguing,"  he said.

Vantage Point Veteran Affairs / Google Images

When was the last time you saw someone with a disability? Do you have a loved one who is part of the community? Did you see a character on TV, or did you just pass someone on the street? For some it may take a while to answer that question. Why is that?

courtesy of the Yale New Haven Hospital Archives

It was a plague that came every summer and left thousands of American children paralyzed -- or dead -- in its wake. This hour we take a look at the legacy of polio.

How did the development of the polio vaccine change the course of history?

Kathrine Holte

The repeated incidents of mass shootings are shocking. Yet, they're sanitized and abstract for most of us who haven't been directly touched by gun violence.

The response to mass shootings has become predictable: anguished adults, candlelight vigils, and photos and remembrances of the victims in happier times. It's never about the carnage or the lingering impact on survivors or their families, communities,  medical doctors, nurses and psychiatrists who care for them. 

courtesy of the Yale New Haven Hospital Archives

It was a plague that came every summer and left thousands of American children paralyzed -- or dead -- in its wake. This hour we take a look at the legacy of polio.

How did the development of the polio vaccine change the course of history?

David DesRoches/WNPR

Owen Lynch likes to keep to himself, even when he's playing a video game against 100 other players. His survival strategy in games is much like his strategy in life -- avoid other people.

The Misperception Of Disability

Aug 10, 2018
Gavin Clarke / Flickr

In the summer of 2018, the Colin McEnroe Show and the entire talk show team at WNPR had the honor in selecting Jason Perez for an internship at Connecticut Public Radio. Perez worked with Colin McEnroe Show senior producer Betsy Kaplan to produce an episode, aired August 8, that focused on what the general public typically gets wrong about people who have a disability. Along with guests Lila Call and Maysoon Zayid, the three opened up and discussed their lives living with their respective disabilities and how they’re often mistreated.

What We Get Wrong About Disability

Aug 8, 2018
Vantage Point Veteran Affairs / Google Images

When was the last time you saw someone with a disability? Do you have a loved one who is part of the community? Did you see a character on TV, or did you just pass someone on the street? For some it may take a while to answer that question. Why is that?

Earlier this year, NPR reported that people with intellectual disabilities are victims of some of the highest rates of sexual assault. NPR found previously undisclosed government numbers showing that they're assaulted at seven times the rate of people without disabilities. Now states, communities and advocates, citing NPR's reporting, are making reforms aimed at improving those statistics.

Adaptive Sailing Program Launches In Stonington

Jun 11, 2018
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

It's a warm, Saturday afternoon on the water in Fishers Island Sound. There are three of us in the 20-foot long sailboat. At the helm is Kiera Dawding. She's almost 17, and she's from Westerly, Rhode Island, which we can see from the water. From our position, we can actually see three states, including New York, points out Kali Cika, Kiera's sailing instructor.

Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi Follow / Creative Commons

This hour, we discuss the debate concerning a woman’s right to abort her fetus following a Down syndrome diagnosis.

We also look at how advances in medical technology have changed the way health professionals screen for the a genetic disorder during pregnancy.

How far has prenatal testing progressed? And where is it headed? We find out.

Katie Hanley, head of Oak Hill's Center for Relationship & Sexuality Education, teaches students about the different types of relationships.
Vanessa de la Torre / WNPR

The title for today’s lesson is written on the whiteboard of this Hartford classroom: #Relationships.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Ten months after the tragic death of Hartford teenager Matthew Tirado -- a look at what’s being done to safeguard the lives of children with disabilities.

Coming up, we hear about a recent Office of the Child Advocate investigation into the case of 17-year-old Tirado.

The report recommends improvements that apply to school districts statewide. 

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Justin Farmer, 23, grabbed a seat on Hamden’s City Council in the fifth district in last week’s municipal elections.

Police in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night fatally shot a deaf man who they say was advancing toward them with a metal pipe as witnesses yelled that the man was deaf and could not hear them.

It's the fifth officer-involved shooting in the city this year, according to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Officers were responding to a hit-and-run accident around 8:15 p.m., Capt. Bo Mathews, the police department's public information officer, told reporters Wednesday. A witness of the accident told police a vehicle involved went to a nearby address.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Barbara Deindorfer lives in North Stonington, Connecticut. The 52-year-old cares for her older brother John, who has severe intellectual disabilities. She became the full-time caretaker for her brother two years ago, when her mother died. 

Many more boys are diagnosed with autism every year than girls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disorder is 4.5 times more common among boys than girls. Boys appear to be more vulnerable to the disorder, but there is some evidence that the gender gap may not be as wide as it appears.

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For sports fans with disabilities, getting out to see your favorite baseball or basketball team can be a major hassle. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Advocates for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities say while the state is contemplating deep cuts to services, it’s also wasting money on inefficient provision of care. 

Frank Grace / Flickr

The eugenics movement of the early 20th century is a dark chapter in our nation's history. And while we may think of it as a practice we've long since abandoned, the truth is a bit more complicated.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Tatyana McFadden was born with a hole in her spine that forced the spinal column to poke out of her back, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. For the first three weeks of Tatyana’s life, she received no medical care for her spina bifida. But she survived, and was eventually adopted from the orphanage where she lived in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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