Tuesday, May 06, 2008


You are reading http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/

I've never heard of a volunteer producer at the station "suggesting" content to another producer. Perhaps I could suggest that the programming for youth do a production on how neglegent and indulgent parents of children with behavioral disabilities, who accuse the general community of "discrimination" when their children assault people and destroy property while the parents ignore it,  are setting their kids up to be social rejects or criminals. But I don't think that idea would go over very well. I think I just got "complimented" on,  and "congratulated" for, a piece someone didn't even hear!

K said:

Thanks for such a thoughtful discussion about TBI and its effects.

Me: This was not a discussion of TBI, although some of the participants acquired Traumatic Brain Injury. As I began my research, the Brain Injury community quickly educated me to the fact that those who have NOT been labeled "TBI" get ignored and receive even worse care & treatment by the medical industry.

Personally, I can't see how the medical industry can NOT think ALL forms of brain injury are "traumatic."

K: As you know, my daughter was born with cerebral palsy and we've experienced many of the symptoms of TBI that your guests describe.

Me: No, I didn't know; nobody told me. My guests and I described experiences with brain injuries. In fact, in the intro, I tell the listeners that this is "an experience of brain injury." I could not, in the limited time I had available, address all forms of brain injury. Nor could I secure interview subjects with every label of diagnosis. A lot of brain injuries were not, specifically, listed; the list could have consumed the entire hour.

K: It's a little different to be born with brain injury, in that you
don't get plugged into "rehab" instantly, but have to seek it out on
your own.

Me: I've never "instantly" received rehab; in fact, I've NEVER received rehab, because I'm not affluent enough to afford adequate insurance which would cover diagnostic testing, beyond speculative musings of psychotherapists (I stated this in the intro). I, therefore, as is true of most people with BI, still don't have an "official" diagnosis of BI (as I stated in the intro), which is the primary reason WHY I'm not affluent enough to afford adequate insurance.

Glen Ford, founder of the now-defunct Brain Injury Clubhouse (which could not secure adequate funding, due to general community's arrogance, lack of interest, under education and nonexistant empathy) and board member of BIANM didn't, as he said in the piece, receive treatment for -- or acknowledgement of -- his brain injury for over three years. HE was a very affluent, government engineer, and the feds are STILL forcing him to fight his case, 12 years later, as he said in the piece. I also stated in the piece that apx. 85% of people with brain injuries never receive accurate diagnosis or treatment. Most people with BI have to seek therapies on their own.

I think, given limitations of time, resources, voluntary and (at my insistance, as "professionals" in the medical industry frequently have a far different, and often harmful, agenda on the subject of brain injury) nonprofessional interview subjects, I did a pretty thorough job. Ralph Shields, board member of BIA, said he thought it was the best presentation he'd seen in 25 years of advocacy for the Brain Injury community, and wants to assist me in broadcasting it nationally. That's got to count for something.

K: How about a show on autism and adults in New Mexico - possibly the most under-served of all adult developmental disabilities?

Me: You can apply for an Independent Producer's grant, if you'd like to pursue this subject. Otherwise, I could use assistance with securing the funds necessary so that I could produce it, as I'm too low income to produce huge radio documentaries for free. With a KUNM IndyProd grant, I figure my actual wages for each production at between $3-10/hour. Last I heard, KUNM only gives out 2 IndyProd grants per producer, per year. I have another project in mind this year.

Monday, May 05, 2008

"Brainstorm" feedback

You are reading http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/

Rogi's radio documentary, "Brainstorm," aired on KUNMfm yesterday. To read some email feedback, please go to Rogi's Radio blog http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/.

from Ralph Shields

You are reading http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/

Dear All,

I don't usually "toot my own horn" but I and several others will be part of a Public Radio program about Brain Injury that was produced by Rogi Riverstone (also a person living with BI) locally at KUNM fm (see below). For those of you who do not have access to the Albuquerque channel you may access it via Internet on their web site.

The program has already been accepted other stations so that it will most likely be aired nationally.

If anyone in the Albuquerque Metro area is interested in joining Rogi in a disability network program - advocacy group, please contact her directly... it sounds like a great way to get our words out to the public and participate with others.



-- "Rogi Riverstone"

"Brainstorm" is an experience of brain injury, produced by Rogi

Riverstone of People with Disabilities Powered Radio

It will be airing on KUNMfm http://kunm.org on Sunday, May 4 at 11am.

Tune in! Different frequencies in different parts of New Mexico, and

you can listen on line.

Dear Glenn and Rogi,

I thank you and wish you both great success with your broadcast --- and thank you for the "heads up!"
Have been trying to enlarge your listener base, but ran into a snag with AOL.
You might want to be aware that the link for Rogi's blog (the domain --- not your particular blog) is apparently on an AOL block list.
I sent this notice to a number of contacts around the country last night, and could not get it to go through to any AOL or Compuserve address --- thought they might be blocking my (hotmail) address, but had same result trying to send via gmail --- so called the AOL postmaster this morning and they had me forward the message to them so they could check the included URLS.
The link to your blog killed it --- thought you should know.
Best regards ~ RWS
Ralph William Shields

The info re: the blog is very discouraging. However, if any of you &
your friends would like to be added to the People With Disabilities
Radio email list, just let me know. Our next meeting will be Tues, May
6 at 4 pm in the Conerence Room at KUNM.

Call 277-4516 for more info.


Wow !!!
Rogi, thank you so very much. Glenn, thank you so much --- for your intimate and intelligent sharing on the broadcast, for your commitment to our community, and for alerting me about the broadcast. Thanks to Ken, for introducing me to Glenn.
To each individual who spoke and shared their stories, and to everyone involved in producing the show, thank you.
I just left a rambling message at KUNM to thank you and tell you that your program today was perhaps the best presentation about what it is like to be a person learning to live with a brain injury that this one has heard in his twenty-plus years as a member of the "club" --- and I've seen, heard, facilitated and/or participated in many --- from local support groups to national conferences --- through nearly twenty years involved with BIANYS, a six-year stint awhile back as a member of the BIA of America board of directors, and through considerable connections with major academic researchers and other BI professionals, and so much more.
Again, wow.
Now, I thank you, Rogi, for your invitation and I'd love to join you to discuss this at your May 6 meeting --- but am afraid the trip from here (Albany, NY) might be a bit much.
I do, as suggested in my rambling message, hope we might discuss possibilities for sharing your broadcast with a larger audience.
Do you have any plans in regard to this? Hope we can connect to consider possibilities, and how I might help you with this.
All for now. Thank you again. Wow!

Best regards ~ RWS
Ralph William Shields

PS --- I did forward the notice about the show to a couple hundred people across the country last night (and the AOL folks this a.m.) --- hope some of them got it in time to tune in --- will let you know about any feedback I might receive.

Paul Ingles, to KUNM volunteers' "Ideas List"

You are reading http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/

I'd like to chime in on this too. I think Rogi's program this morning was a stellar example of what public radio is supposed to do, which is to give voice to those whose voices are ignored.

Giving someone access to the microphone is worthy in itself, but to shape such an engaging, artful and emotional hour of radio listening is another thing. Rogi really took it to that level.

And having done this myself for a longggg time now, I know how much work went into the montage that led off her program. It's not easy to pull off so well. It was a tremendous achievement.

If you missed it, go out of your way to hear it online whenever KUNM posts it. Congrats Rogi! Extremely well done!


Paul Ingles
Independent Producer

from Glen Ford, peer advocate for people with brain injuries

You are reading http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/



Your program was superb.

How can I ever thank you enough!!!

I spent all evening E-mailing out your announcement to over 300 people. I am now getting compliments to the show. I will forward as appropriate!

Bless you


P.S. I am still wiping away the tears... and thank you for sharing your story too!

"Brain Storm"

You are reading http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/

Hi, Sarah.

I'm copying this to Rogi Riverstone, Brainstorm's producer. She should be able to forward this to the guest.


Rachel Kaub
KUNM Operations Manager

Dear KUNM,

My husband and I heard a small portion of today's Brain Storm program, and I
wonder if it is possible to get in touch with the woman who had suffered a
brain injury and was interviewed today -- I did not hear her name. She said
she was hoping to learn to play a song on the guitar and be able to play it
within a year.

My husband is Vince Bell http://www.vincebell.com

He has five of his own CDs and his songs have been performed and recorded by
Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, Little Feat among others. He has also been on
KUNM in the past! More important, he is also a TBI survivor, as a result of
a car accident in 1982. He spent a month in a coma and had to relearn how
to walk, talk and play music again. The first song he was able to do was
not his own, but Bob Dylan's I Shall Be Released.

I mention all this only to assure you our reasons for getting in touch are
that he was very touched by her story, and wondered if he might help in any

We look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for the help.


Sarah Wrightson & Vince Bell
Santa Fe, NM


Thank you for your interest. I'm sending this on to Corey Perea, the
woman who wants guitar lessons.

Keep on her; Corey can remember EVERYTHING from her past, but had
difficulty remembering what she'd ordered for lunch yesterday -- ten
minutes after she'd ordered it (yesterday was, coincidentally, Corey's
birthday, and I took her to lunch.)

Corey's smarter than hell; she just needs gentle reminding.

And please remember: follow up is necessary, even if your husband
decides he can't follow through on the idea. It really hurts to get
one's hopes up and never hear back from the person who made the offer.
I think Corey will feel pretty jazzed to know someone really heard
her, and cared enough to make contact. Just remember, though, "the
road to hell is paved in good intentions." Nothing personal, and I'm
not saying y'all WOULD "flake out" on her, but Corey's had a lot of
disappointments since her brain injury, and I won't reign in my
maternal instincts to protect.

I'm sure she'll be thrilled to hear from y'all! Thank you SO MUCH!

Dear Rogi,

Thanks for this. We will call her tomorrow, Tuesday, and see what she'd
like to do. An easy drive from Santa Fe, as she is on the north end.

Thanks too, for your concern, but I think rather preaching to the choir as
my husband is brain injured. Remembering for ten minutes can be quite a
success in fact. And the decade of betrayals he endured in his first 10
years cannot be recounted. That he understands the world's fears and
inabilities to help in the face of helplessness is as much a part of his
recovery as anything else. It is as much a part of his heroism. His book,
One Man's Music, which deals in great part with that part of his life, will
be published by University of North Texas Press in Spring 09.

He has spoken at various TBI state conferences around the US, as the keynote
speaker, but it is always the break-out sessions with the survivors, which I
help with also, that are the most wonderful and difficult.

Anyway, we'll call on Tuesday and many thanks for all your help with this,
and your concern and care for Corey.



You are reading http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/

What a wonderful program. The opening montage was stunning. Great interviews followed. Thanks so much for bringing voices that are virtually never heard onto the radio.

I hope you'll want to re-shape this slightly for national broadcast. I'd be willing to offer you some guidence on that so when you/KUNM put it up on Public Radio Exchange, it will have its best chance to be picked up by other stations. Briefly - if you're interested - that would mean inserting national brain injury hotline numbers in place of NM's. Some stations - that play NPR newscasts hourly - require a 53 minute version. Although I'm sure editing out 6 more minutes would be excrutiating, it could be worth it to get a station like KUOW in Seattle to pick it up. They only use 53 minute shows. Anyway, we can talk later this week if you have questions/energy for that.

But in any case, again, just a triumph for you on this one! I insist that you/KUNM enter it for an AP Documentary Award next year.



Paul Ingles
Independent Producer

"Brainstorm" podcasts on KUNM

You are reading http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/

The pieces I've produced: Kicked Out Queers, Native American Vets with PTSD, What's a Disability to Brenda's Girls and Brainstorm ALL involve populations of our community who have little or no discretionary income.

People are telling me they can't afford to buy the podcasts.

Disabled people have to lose everything, before they qualify for Medicaid and, therefore, necessary therapies, technologies, housing, rehabilitation, transportation and even FOOD. Just listen to "Brainstorm" for several examples of relatively-affluent people who were reduced to poverty, in order to receive medical attention.

IF my programs about financially-vulnerable populations are to be posted on KUNM's website, is there a way to waive the fees?