By Walter Greene
You’re hard-pressed to find a better case for the importance of storytelling than in the words of Kamand Alaghehband. While sitting down to talk with her about working on the True Tales by Disability Advocates podcast, she made a lasting impression with her beautiful reasoning for the importance of this project and the time, passion, and vulnerability that she and the show’s many guests, hosts, and producers have put into making its first season. In terms of what the show provides for the disabled community, she offers the following:
“Each story is an example of the bravery of speakers to share their vulnerable moments of their lives with us. Each episode is a symbol of bravery of different writers with their certain challenges to share how they overcame their challenges of their daily living. These stories bring confidence and bravery to the other people with disabilities to speak up about themselves.”
Kamand expanded on this point, explaining how the same honesty and attention to detail–with equal respect to the good and the bad–that makes each one of the True Tales stories so powerful offers a valuable lesson for non-disabled individuals as well.
“Their bravery to share their stories with others is an example to not judge anyone with their appearance but instead put yourself in their shoes and respect them for who they are. . . . A lot of times others judge us due to lack of knowledge about our disabilities or lack of paying enough attention that their actions are really hurting people.”
This last point by Kamand speaks to one of the central aims of True Tales. So much of the stereotypes and other misconceptions surrounding disability are grounded in a lack of knowledge and empathy within non-disabled people. Some of the greatest obstacles to disabled individuals have nothing to do with their actual disabilities but with the attitudinal barriers put in place by a woefully uninformed public. Through listening to the stories of True Tales, non-disabled individuals might open their minds and hearts to the lessons Kamand and the other storytellers are trying to get across.
“Learn about different disabilities and learn we all are human, that we work so hard to fit into society. Accept us the way we are. Open your hearts to us. Listen to our stories. Ours is very similar to yours. We all want to be successful. We all want to be loved, and at the end we all are going through one journey, on one planet. When you fly in an airplane and you look down, you never see Mother Nature dividing earth to pieces separating one place to another. It is our conscious mind doing it, and the way we look at everything. Join us in this journey of sharing our stories; open your heart to it and change your perception of us.”
With ten episodes set for this season of the podcast, the True Tales by Disability Advocates podcast and its wonderful team have a wide-ranging selection of stories to share with you. Listen to Kamand host the episode “The Power of Dressing Up”, available now wherever you listen to podcasts.
“Each story tells you a true tale of an individual who was willing to open up to you and send you a message. Are you ready to hear our messages? Join us to hear our heroic stories and share your thoughts with us. We would love to hear if you have had the same experiences like we did, regardless of if you are disabled or not.”