Podcast Transcripts

Health Disparities in Society with Dr. Laura Guyer

“Health equity” will be achieved when every individual has the same opportunity to attain their full health potential because there is equal access to equal health care based upon equal need. Dr. Laura Guyer’s career has been dedicated to the mitigation of health disparities that are associated with social, economic, racial, and educational disparities and elimination of barriers in the health care system. At risk for health disparities are members of socially and economically marginalized populations due to race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, age, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location.

Dr. Guyer established the only undergraduate academic program nationwide dedicated to eliminating health disparities while adding diversity to the health professions workforce. Health Disparities in Society, housed at the University of Florida, works in partnership with thirty local safety net clinics, nonprofit organizations, and state agencies to teach students about social inequities, the social determinants of health, cultural competence, health literacy and the social mission of health professions education.

Before returning to UF to establish the health disparities minor, Dr. Guyer spent twenty-five years immersed in the rural culture of north Florida. As a clinician, wellness nutritionist and community educator, she developed cultural sensitivity and awareness about the health care and educational needs of diverse individuals.

Her deep and long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and undergraduate education has been recognized by numerous awards including the UF Presidential Service Award for Leadership and Service Advocate of the Year (2020), Faculty Achievement Award (2019), UF Faculty Advisor/Mentor of the Year Award (2016), UF Faculty Leadership and Service Advocate Impact Award (2016) and Advisor of the Year Award (1993). Her commitment and service to the dietetics profession in Florida was recognized by the 1995 President’s Award. The hallmarks of her career include leadership, innovation, creativity, community engagement and collaboration. 

To learn more about Dr. Guyer’s work visit:

SPEAKERS: Laura Guyer, Tony Delisle, Jasmine Tran

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Addressing Concerns and Resistance To The COVID-19 Vaccine with Dr. Vincent Venditto

On this episode, we welcome back Dr. Vincent Venditto, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. Tony and Dr. Venditto begin by reflecting on where we were in the pandemic when they first connected in January and where we are with the pandemic today. Dr. Venditto shares his perspective on where we are in the life cycle of this pandemic and discusses the concerns over the delta variant. They dive into questions about the vaccine, boosters, should people who’ve had the vaccine be masked indoors or should they not be masked, can people who have had the vaccine still spread COVID-19, and get into depth about the hesitancy and resistance with getting vaccinated.

Dr. Venditto received training in vaccine design and immunology and continues to investigate vaccine strategies to better understand how the immune system works in disease progression.

SPEAKERS: Dr. Vincent Venditto, Tony Delisle

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Check Out Our Podcast!

If you want to learn more about what the Educational Advocacy team has been up to, please check out our episode of the Independent Life Podcast. We go into detail about our outreach efforts and the progress we have made thus far. Let us know what you think!

[Photo Description]

The post includes the CIL logo on the top left corner, followed by an illustration of a woman with brown hair and a purple shirt ​wearing headphones. To the right, there is a fun blue shape with text within it asking, “Wondering what we’ve been up to?”, followed by another shape of the same color on the bottom left answering the prompt and stating, “Check out our episode of the Independent Life Podcast (link in our bio).” On the bottom right of the graphic, the Independent Life Podcast logo can be seen, which consists of the the CIL logo and same blue, purple and green found within the rest of the post. Within the center, there is a large graphic of a microphone, surrounded by the podcasts title and host Tony Delisle’s name.

A Moment of Reflection with Tony

On this episode, Tony takes us back to our mission with the purpose and our intentions for The Independent Life podcast: providing a lens to what it’s like to have a disability and to live independently. In Season 1, we strived to accomplish this by talking to people with disabilities in order to gain insights into their lives through their lived experiences. We hoped that by doing so, we could build a community based on unity around disability.

For Season 2, we dove straight into a mini series on Emergency Preparedness to address access and functional needs for people with disabilities, before, during, and after disasters. We spoke with folks across organizations and agencies of people with disabilities, advocates of people with disabilities- to hear their perspective and understand areas that could use improvement in order to better serve those who are most vulnerable during times of disaster. Tony also introduces us to a new weekly addition: Monday Disability Dojos. Each Monday, Tony will talk about a topic, issue area, or philosophy related to independent living and dive into his thoughts about it and perhaps where the disability community needs to be thinking about and keep on the forefront.

SPEAKERS: Tony Delisle

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School Outreach Efforts with Emily, Ashlyn, and Alex

Emily Berndt, Ashlyn Michael, and Alex Cavalcante have been leading the charge on conducting outreach to schools within the Center For Independent Living’s catchman area of 16 counties, which include 16 different school districts. They’re beginning a process of connecting to schools where CIL currently does not have a presence within, to get to know their students and parents and to offer CIL’s valuable services.

We’ll be following Emily, Ashlyn, and Alex on their outreach journey throughout Season 2 to learn about the exciting work they’re doing in the community through engagement, building trust, offering value.

Survey: https://forms.gle/YjhG14s3jMANwosi8
Newsletter / Mailing List Sign Up: https://forms.gle/duyZgLSWWfPhW8147
Instagram: @cilncf_advocate4edu
Educational Advocacy Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/137392331715471 
Contact Alex Cavalcante: ACavalcante@cilncf.org

SPEAKERS: Emily Bernt, Ashlyn Michael, Alex Cavalcante, Tony Delisle

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Service, Unity, and Human Connection

In this episode, we reflect on the past year as we wrap up season 1 and look ahead at how we can continue to be the best version of ourselves so that we can better provide for those in need. Shera Curtis, Mark Brisbane, and Kevin Towles joins Tony in reflecting upon the things they’ve been doing, challenges and issues they’re seeing in the live of people they serve on a daily basis, success stories that give us hope, and share what drives each of them to being able to be of service to others.

Tony and all of us at CIL would like to extend a big thank you to our listeners, supporters, all our guests, and the producers behind the scene that have helped to make our Season 1 such a huge success. We can’t wait to see you back here on July 5th. Until then, onward and upward!

SPEAKERS: Kevin Tolls, Mark Brisbane, Shera Curtis, Tony Delisle

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Privilege and Purpose with Dr. Bea Awoniyi

Dr. Bea Awoniyi is the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs at Santa Fe College, overseeing the disability resource center, serves as Ombudsperson, and helps to oversee grant awards among many other different aspects of her role. Dr. Awoniyi has a long career in higher education, previously having worked in other universities at their disability resource centers and serving in vast leadership roles. She is a member of the Association on Higher Education And Disability and together with her colleagues, they work to better understand what they need to do, with the national organization so that they can bring individuals from the minority population to the table.

In this episode, Tony and Dr. Awoniyi talk through how to navigate our identities in a healthy way, that integrates our social and environment context, in the way we live our lives. They dive into an important discussion in reflecting about who we are, understanding our purpose, and if we have the means- how can we give back.

Contact Information:

SPEAKERS: Bea Awoniyi, Tony Delisle

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Advocacy and Funding for JPPAS Program

This week we bring you a very special episode from our Independent Life community of advocates who join us to share their personal stories in an effort to demonstrate the human and economic return on investing in the JPPAS program. This will be accomplished  through meeting several of the recipients of the program and learning why JPPAS has been so instrumental in achieving their dreams and Independent Living goals. Whether you’ve been following along on our journey from day one or are just joining us today, we encourage you to contact key senate and representative decision makers to advocate for increase funding for the program for its sustainability and future growth to add more people onto it. 

The James Patrick Memorial Work Incentive Personal Assistant Services program provides financial assistance to persons who are gainfully employed and have severe or chronic disabilities that require assistance from a personal care attendant (PCA) for at least 2 activities of daily living such as self-care, including ambulation, bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, and toileting, and other similar tasks. The program is primarily funded by the Tax Collection Enforcement Diversion program which provides the deliquent tax owner an opportunity to pay back the taxes instead of being prosecuted and serving time in jail.

Do you qualify for the program?


SPEAKERS: Jane Johnson, Tony Delisle, Carey Larabee, Dug Jones, Mark Brisbane, Christina Martin, Salim Nasser

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Brave Spaces with Ciawanda McDonald

Ciawanda McDonald is the Executive Director of Disability Solutions for Independent Living, covering Volusia and Flagler County. She is a voice for the independent living movement, in terms of equity, diversity, and intersectionality, spearheading a group comprised of folks throughout the state to advance the conversations related to equity for all groups of people with disabilities. She unpacks the important things that are needed to be know in having these conversations, what are the terms, what’s the context, and what’s the conversations being had, how does it conceptualized, and why its important to really understand who we are, our awareness of ourselves, our implicit biases. Ciawanda discusses addressing the fears we have when entering into these conversations, how to overcome them, how does it all tied back to the independent living movement, and how we can do better to serve better for the people that we’re charged with serving and providing.

Some of the work they done at the centers is creating brave spaces that encourages a dialogue that recognizes differences and holds a person accountable for what it is that they do or say and sharing experiences. Within these work groups, participants share their own experiences, have conversations, and work on how to make the centers for independent living more diverse and more equitable for others.

Disability Solutions for Independent Living, Inc.
119 South Palmetto Avenue, Suite 180
Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
386-255-1812  Fax:  386-255-1814
TTY: 386-252-6222

SPEAKERS: Ciawanda McDonald, Tony Delisle

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Sign Language Interpreting Services with Kathy Elkins

Kathy Elkins supervises Sign Language Interpreting Services at CIL. Kathy has had 18 years of experience working at a center for independent living, of which 15 have been in the sign language interpreting program. She joins us to today to discuss why these sign language interpreting programs are so important. Kathy shares what a situation that requires sign language interpretation looks like and explains the process of how of how to go about requesting an interpreter. CIL of North Central Florida operates a sign language coordination program to ensure the availability of interpreters for individuals who are deaf.

For more information, call Kathy Elkins at 877-629-8840 or e-mail kelkins@cilncf.org.

SPEAKERS: Kathy Elkins, Tony Delisle

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