A podcast on disabilities from an insider
Posted on February 26th, 2014 by Patricia
I have Wade Wingler (an assistive technology professional at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indianapolis) to thank for introducing me to Daniel Smorokowski. Mr. Smorokowski is a journalist and public speaker, but he’s best known as a podcaster. His Special Chronicles podcast is a talk and interview style audio podcast that educates and informs others about people with disabilities, and his stories cover everything from friends with disabilities (I especially like his interview with Georgia Hunter and the one with Breanna Bogucki) to the Special Olympics work in Albania.
When I first met Mr. Smorokowski, I asked him why he started his Special Chronicles podcast in the first place. “I’m podcasting from an insider’s perspective,” he said with a shrug. After that quick, clear-cut answer, he shared more details.
Mr. Smorokowski was 3½ when he was diagnosed with a learning disability as well as a speech disorder. This means it can take him longer than others to process information. His speech disorder manifests as a stutter, which made him the object of bullying and ridicule when he was growing up.
He was in both special education and general education classes in high school and sensed a general lack of understanding of the challenges that people with disabilities experience. He thought the podcast medium would be a great way to educate the public and promote acceptance and understanding. He said, “All of the listeners can focus on hearing our voices and they will include us when they hear our stories.”
The Special Chronicles does indeed send a message of inclusion. Storytelling has a long history of being a powerful communication strategy, and podcasting allows worldwide access to personal stories. Check out Special Chronicles to hear Mr. Smorokowski’s stories and join in on his message of the power of acceptance and inclusion.