Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Opportunities for disabled expanding?; Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 9, 2015 10:00 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, September 9, 2015:

The Americans with Disabilities Act became law 25 years ago.  The ADA banned discrimination based on disability and was intended to ensure equal opportunity in employment.  The law also required accommodations for people with disabilities in public and commercial facilities as well in public transportation.

A quarter of a century later, there is good and bad news.  On the negative side -- fewer than one in five persons with a disability are employed and as a result, many live in poverty.  However, at least anecdotally, we're hearing of more persons with disabilities who are working at jobs or in careers they would have never been considered for just a few years ago.  As educational opportunities become more available more persons with disabilities could obtain jobs or start careers with better incomes and are more secure.

The D.R.E.A.M. Partnership is designed to make post-secondary educations available to students with intellectual disabilities.

Executive Director Sherri Landis and Board Chair Donna Partin appear on Wednesday's Smart Talk along with Matthew Ernst, Director of Therapeutic Recreation with Easter Seals of Western and Central Pennsylvania to discuss the changing landscape.

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Sherri Landis, Donna Partin & Matthew Ernst

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Also, there will be 31 films of all kinds in three days this weekend at the Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival.

Joining us on Wednesday's program to describe what to expect and the goals of the festival are Hamza Ahmad, Founder of the Harrisburg Hershey Film Festival, Stuart Landon, Director of Community Engagement at Midtown Cinema in Harrisburg and filmmaker Dr. Kevin Boone.



Stuart Landon, Hamza Ahmad & Dr. Kevin Boone

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-09-09 10:21

    Thomas in Millersville emails:

    Thank-you for this critical show. And thanks to the vision and dedication of your guests.

    Just a small correction regarding intellectual disability;
    While some individuals with autism have intellectual disabilities, by definition, a person with Asperger's Disorder cannot have a “clinically significant” cognitive disability.

    Additionally Aspergers is no longer a diagnosis in the DSM V.

    [Thomas Neuville, is an Associate Professor and Disability Studies Advisor at Millersville University]

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-09-09 10:22

    Thomas in Millersville emails with this follow up:

    I wonder if your listeners understand the definition of intellectual disability?

    We used to use the word “retardation” and no longer use that pejorative.

    Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18.


    I am having a conversation with a student in the Career and Life Studies Program. The student wishes to thank DREAM and has this to offer your readers:

    I was happy to move out from my parents home and I want to be on my own. I want to advocate for myself so I can be with new friends. When I first moved in I was nervous but felt really good. I am at Millersville to get education and a job I want to do. For me that job is working at a sports stadium keeping statistics or working the video board. I think the program should be a four year program. I also want programs like this to be at multiple universities so people have more choices.