PolicyWise S3 E2: International Persons with Disabilities Day

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On this episode of PolicyWise, hosts Michael Wiafe and Ellinor Arzbaecher commemorate International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) with guests Zofia Trexler and Natalia Arzbaecher, who is Ellinor’s sister. Both Trexler and Natalia Arzbaecher has lived with disabilities since childhood.

“I personally did not have the best experience and obviously the goal is to make sure others don’t have those experiences as well,” said Trexler who is diagnosed with ADHD and now works with Disability Rights California as a peer self advocacy trainer and is a student at Fresno City College.

“There’s that saying that the personal is political,” said Natalia Arzbaecher, who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of seven. She’s now a student at University of California, San Diego and navigating life with her disability away from home. She thinks about “the idea of experiencing a disability myself, having to deal with it most of my life and having to experience the 504 Plans [K-12 plans for students with disabilities] and having to get accommodations and seeing how healthcare is really inaccessible for a lot of people.”

They discuss AB 309, which will help schools identify students who might need help and connect them with counseling or other services, as well as the rising costs of medication and health insurance and the challenges faced by transitional age youth with disabilities.

The PolicyWise podcast is a partnership between Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) and CA FWD and can be heard on through YLI and on Spotify, Apple PodcastsStitcherBreaker AudioRadioPublicPocket Casts and Overcast.


Nadine Ono

All stories by: Nadine Ono