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NCPR Launches Disability Matters Series in Partnership with North Country Centers for Independent Living (4/18/05)

North Country Public Radio will partner with Independent Living Centers in the North Country to raise public awareness of the challenges of people in the region who live with disabilities.

The special year-long project is part of Sound Partners for Community health, a highly competitive program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, through the Benton Foundation, to join the forces of local media and community organizations. The Sound Partners program includes 26 radio projects and ten TV projects in five key health areas: rural access, healthy living, public health challenges, quality of care, and vulnerable populations.

Over the next year, North Country Public Radio's news department will produce radio reports, audio diaries, commentaries and call-in programs focusing on the social and policy issues that affect people with disabilities. The broadcasts will look at special challenges people with disabilities face in the North Country, and the special strengths the region offers.

The first series of radio segments, which will air the week of April 25, will introduce overall quality of life issues: living at home; getting around; getting and keeping a job; getting an education; and getting old - age as a disability. The series will air in late April.

Staff and volunteers at the Centers for Independent Living in Plattsburgh, Malone and Watertown will lead an outreach campaign to bring health care concerns and policies to public attention. Presentations and educational programs, as well as community forums, are planned for the course of the 12 months.

Ellen Rocco, general manager of North Country Public Radio, said, "We're proud to join forces with the Independent Living Centers to address issues of vital concern to the disabled community. This community and the special challenges faced by people with disabilities are largely invisible. We want to make people with disabilities and their concerns a topic for public discussion, consideration, and action. We all need to know more."

For more information, visit The Disability Matters series page or call NCPR toll-free 877-388-6277.

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