True Tales by Disability Advocates

True Tales by Disability Advocates

Where advocates harness the power of storytelling to build community with their peers and hope to develop empathy in others. A team of disability advocates creates this True Tales podcast to share personal stories by disabled storytellers and add their voices to the growing community of podcast listeners.


August 2, 2023 24 mins

Step into the life of Albert 'Sparky' Metz, a relentless disability rights activist and country music fan who's been championing the rights of the disabled since his formative years. From his institutionalized childhood to his fiercely independent adulthood, Sparky's journey is as captivating as it is inspiring. Through it all, Sparky's spirit remained undeterred, fueling his passion for advocacy and his lo...

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Storyteller Renée Lopez has lived a life of activism, challenging disability stereotypes, and deep friendships. She returns to True Tales with a new story "Me, Myself, and Sandra" about her experience as a Freshman at UT Austin. Host Kristen Gooch and Renée chat about Renée’s passion for social justice and her 40 years of Activism, fighting for Liberty and Justice for all.  Their discussion covers what Renée’s learned abo...

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April 17, 2023 28 mins

"The Next Generation Showcase," is a special bonus episode of True Tales by Disability Advocates,  the podcast where Advocates harness the power of storytelling to bring community to their peers and hope to develop empathy and others.

The stories featured in this episode are written by fledgling storytellers from the Austin Independent School District Go-Project. The GO Project is a community-based transition program for s...

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March 8, 2023 39 mins

"Awkward Moments" is being launched in March 2023, featuring two female storytellers with international stories in recognition of International Women's Day. For the first time, we feature a member of our multi-talented working group as storyteller and host. Host Kamand Alaghehband opens the episode with "London Calling", by storyteller Jennifer McKinney, about an awkward moment with her cane when riding the...

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February 7, 2023 42 mins

In this episode, we highlight storytellers who are practitioners of this “Magical Advocacy.” The tools these practitioners use are, being clear about what you are asking for, knowing why you’re asking and connecting with people by using personal stories to put a human face on the issue.  In her story “Wand Quest”, Jessica Guerrero invokes her advocacy skills to manifest a long held dream. Our second story “First Impressions” by Nis...

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December 31, 2022 50 mins

Note: This episode is slightly longer than usual to honor the natural speech patterns of our guests.

Welcome to the Mid-Winter Episode of True Tales by Disability Advocates, season two. Winter is the time of stillness and darkness when nature encourages us to look within and access what’s ready to grow in the coming year. In this episode, “Practice Peace not Pity”, hosts Toby Al-Tarabulsi and Kristen Gooch talk to storytellers Kaye ...

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November 19, 2022 40 mins

Hosts Brittany Sessum and Kaye Love introduce storytellers Gene Rodgers and Cade Insall, who share stories about the ways they have used Kindness and Connections to transform their lives.

As we enter the holiday season, listening to “Kindness and Connections” brings you the courage you need to find hope and peace in your life, no matter the circumstances right now.

Guest - Gene Rodgers

As a wheelchair user, Gene Rodgers trav...

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October 19, 2022 37 mins

Host Kristen Gooch, and storyteller PiPa McCollister, talk honestly about life in a world not designed for folks with CP, Dyslexia, or ADHD. After PiPa presents her story, “The Gift of Not Paying Attention,” host Kristen learns more about PiPa’s lived experience with ADHD. They discuss the impact of ADHD in adulthood, struggles finding a job, getting accommodations and PiPa's experience as a mother of a child with ADHD and Dys...

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August 22, 2022 30 mins

We end the first season of True Tales by Disability Advocates with "Positively Shining Bright".
 The stories in this episode highlight the power of choosing a positive mindset. Host Brittany Sessum introduces us to storytellers, Carlos Orellana, and Anne Marie Buckle. In their stories, "Listen to My World" and "Advocate Me," they share how in their own ways they practice having a positive mindset a...

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July 14, 2022 23 mins

For Disability Pride Month, Kaye Love chats to Tanya Winters and Kamand Alaghehband about their stories “Pediacrisis” and “Kamand’s View: No More Prejudice”. Stories about how they navigate the predictable and unexpected barriers they meet daily. We hope your day is enriched by listening to “Independence”. Full transcript available.
World Health Organization on Disability

Guest: Tanya Winters - A Chicago native, Tanya fell in l...

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June 14, 2022 19 mins

Full transcripts of all episodes available at

In this episode, guests Laura Odom and Sheena Walter tell host John Beer about the “Awakenings” in their lives. Laura pushed through doubts brought on by years of narcolepsy to try her hand at a new adventure (“Finally Waking Up”), while Sheena flipped self-consciousness about her PICC line into a new and very public role of...

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May 12, 2022 25 mins

To listen with full transcript, go to

In this episode, host Joey Gidseg talks to Jennifer Howell about her story, “From Ally to Self-Advocate.” Jennifer describes going from being the daughter of parents with disabilities to becoming someone with disabilities of her own, and the surprising things she learns along the way. Even for someone long familiar with disabilitie...

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April 5, 2022 33 mins

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In this episode, our storytellers share two very different experiences of dressing up and playing different characters, while using a wheelchair. Host Kamand Alaghehband talks to Jessica Guerrero and Renee Lopez. They talk about their journey with Cosplay and Halloween in their stories Cosplay and Witchy Woman.
Renee Lopez

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March 4, 2022 29 mins

A team of disability advocates creates True Tales to give voice to the personal stories and lived experiences of disabled storytellers. We offer our unique, often underrepresented perspective, to the growing community of podcast listeners worldwide.
This episode is being released in March, in honor of Women’s History Month. We welcome back Kristen Gooch, the storyteller from episode 2, as host. She is joined by our two storytel...

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February 16, 2022 37 mins

Persons with disabilities often face the challenge of others’ misconceptions of their viewpoint and day-to-day life. In this episode, host Jennifer Howell visits with married couple Dave and Kate Chapple about their experience with such situations and the joyful message that love has no limits. In their stories, “My Journey with Religion” and "My Life in a Nursing Home,” Kate discusses her thoughts about fellow church members ...

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February 2, 2022 25 mins

Click Here To Listen With Full Transcript

In this episode, host Kamand Alaghehband talks to Kaye Love and Marielle Abrams, who talk about their journey with faith and inclusion and share their stories “Faith and Inclusion” and “Prom Night.”

Storyteller Bio
Kaye Love
Kaye is passionate about assisting individuals to explore and enhance their sense of meaning and purpose in life in a way that is sensitive to and respe...

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January 5, 2022 21 mins

In this episode, host Toby Al-Trabulsi talks to John Beer and Kristen Gooch, who talk about ways they have developed resilience while pursuing their passions in life as wheelchair users and share their stories, “Is There a Doctor in The House?” and “I Was Meant to Shine.” John Beer takes us along his adventurous experience of trying to stay stocked up on staples during the covid era, and Kristen Gooch gives listeners insight into h...

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December 2, 2021 23 mins

In this episode, host Brittany Sessum talks to storyteller Eric Clow, who talks about his journey with pride and bravery to live an authentic life and share his stories called "Coachella" and "Letter to My 10-Year-Old Self." 

You can find this episode, and many more, by subscribing to the True Tales by Disability Advocates on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Podcasts. If you don’t use a podcast platfo...

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