The CDCI makes connections.

CDCI Connects is a series of conversations about disability and inclusion, by and with people with disabilities, and their family members, educators, and medical professionals.

Every connection begins with a conversation.

Each month, we sit down with some of our favorite people and talk about current issues in disability advocacy. Each episode runs between 30 and 60 minutes, and each one is currently available on our YouTube channel. New episodes are available on or around the second week of the month.




Text: Melissa Cronin and Rachel Cronin


“I think the biggest thing is for people who don’t understand disability, especially invisible disabilities, to try to listen to those who are struggling, and take it upon yourself to learn, rather than saying ‘Oh yeah I have that too’."

On this episode of the podcast, CDCI business manager Rachel Cronin sits down with her stepmother, Melissa Cronin, as they talk disability. Melissa Cronin is an author and journalist based in Vermont. Before she sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2003, she was also a neonatal intensive care nurse.

The two talk about struggling with the idea of who qualifies as "disabled", especially when it comes to your own identity, along with Melissa's experiences of having an invisible disability, and how that's shaped her post-accident identity.


Text: Ariana Cano and Bridget "Bird Diva" Butler

In this episode of CDCI Connects, Ariana Cano from The Nature Conservancy of Vermont, talks with Bridget Butler, aka "Bird Diva".

Butler specializes in the art of "slow birding", or approaching birding in a way that prioritizes slowing down. They talk about how Butler's slow birding ideas touch on disability, race, and access to and love for Vermont's wild places.

"Like something as simple as bathrooms: oh my gosh! I thought this place would be fine because it had a building and all of that. But it wasn’t: the doorways were too narrow, and the path from the parking to the main trail? There was like a big muddy dip! And I thought, ‘There’s no way that someone using a wheelchair could really navigate this.’ It just kind of blew my mind.”


Text: Winnie Looby and Kinda Abujbarah

Dr. Winnie Looby and Dr. Kinda Abujbarah connect briefly about Dr. Abujbarah's experience with cerebral palsy and how it led her to travel from Amman, Jordan, to the United States to pursue greater educational opportunities -- and how COVID-19 has impacted opportunity at universities.

"I wrote my whole dissertation with a typist in another state. So, technology and being able to work remotely, I've been doing that since before COVID, but I thought COVID might open more opportunities for me to work remotely."


Audrey Homan & Ming Canaday

Ming M. Canaday is a world traveler, podcaster, life coach, and entrepreneur. In this interview, we asked Ming about how her experience of living with a disability has informed how she approaches all those activities, and how exactly, her new app aims to help people with disabilities have better access to gas stations the world over.


On this episode of CDCI Connects: a conversation between Dr. Winnie Looby and Dr. Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyie. Dr. Komabu-Pomeyie recounts her experience of disability, from contracting polio as a child in Ghana, to a tragic accident that impacted her mobility, and how the support of her mother and her faith helped position her to grasp hold of educational and entrepreneurship opportunities.


Pamela Cummings and Rachel Wright

In this episode of the podcast, renowned early intervention nurse / complex needs parent Rachel Wright joins Pamela Cummings, from the I-Team Early Intervention project. They cover Wright's journey from medical professional to mother, and specifically what she's learned from being the mother of three sons, one of whom is a child with disabilities and complex needs. What can other parents learn about negotiating the journey through the medical jargon maze? And how can medical professionals be better partners to parents and other family members?



We make the CDCI Connects podcast with Zoom videoconferencing software, Blue Yeti microphones, and Adobe Audition. The music for Season 1 is "Waves Are Only Beautiful When They Break", by Seong June, licensed by Audio Library Plus.





















An icon of a person speaking out of a monitor. Text: CDCI News and Events.

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Interested in appearing on our podcast?

We are actively looking for guests for Season 2.

Let us know what you're interested in coming on the show to talk about, and whether you'd like to bring your own interviewer or connect with someone at the CDCI whose interests in disability advocacy match up with yours. 

We offer a modest stipend for people with disabilities and family members of people with disabilities. 

To find out more, contact producer Audrey Homan.