Professor Kudlick: Society Stigmatizes Things that Make People's Lives Easier

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

PUSHING LIMITS, KPFA-FM (BERKELEY) -- Catherine Kudlick, director of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University and a professor of History, dissects the fascinating intersection of fundraising and disability. She is the editor of “Telethons: Spectacle, Disability and the Business of Charity,” written by late History Professor Paul Longmore.

“We stigmatize things that actually make people’s lives easier,” Kudlick says. “For example, the ‘worst possible thing’ is that you’re in a wheelchair. Well, a lot of people are liberated. They’re struggling on crutches, and they’re trying to get [through] that one and a half blocks as much like a non-disabled person as possible. And yet if they got a really well-functioning, well-designed wheelchair, they can zip that block and a half in about five seconds.”