15: Julie Minich and health’s collective responsibility

In this conversation with Assistant Professor of English at UT Austin Julie Minich, we discuss categories of disability, how the concept of health affects bodies, especially “irresponsible” or “deviant” ones; citizenship; obesity; flaws in the health care system; health surveillance; the myth of “choosing” your health; the myth of human perfectability; and the collective responsibility of health. Julie is currently working on a book that discusses these issues and more. She is the author of Accessible Citizenships: Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico (Temple University Press, 2014).

Episode Nine: Stacy Zoern

In Episode Nine, I talk to Stacy Zoern. We discuss bodily insecurities, accessibility, dependence upon other people, how the institutional model fails people with disabilities, losing all modesty, and how her company, Kenguru, seeks to change the way wheelchair-bound people get around by starting production of its wheelchair-friendly, autonomy-supporting electric cars sometime this year.

Here is her short bio:

Stacy has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a form of Muscular Dystrophy, and has never walked.

She graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in philosophy and psychology with highest honors and went on to attend the University of Texas School of Law.

Stacy practiced patent litigation at Daffer McDaniel for six years and also had the privilege of clerking for a federal judge in Austin, The Honorable Robert Pitman.

A published author, at the age of twenty years she wrote a memoir entitled “I Like to Run Too: Two Decades of Sitting.” She is also a public speaker and is well connected to the disability community.

In 2010, Stacy founded Kenguru, Inc. and currently works full-time for Kenguru as President. Kenguru designs, markets, and sells a 100% electric vehicle that is purpose built for people in wheelchairs. With the KENGURU, a wheelchair user is no longer trapped on his street or dependent on others. He can now travel up to 60 miles a day at 25 mph, accessing his community independently. The KENGURU is also popular for its ease of use, allowing drivers to enter by the push of a button, and to drive while seated in their own wheelchair. The KENGURU is a game changer for the wheelchair community.

Stacy meets President Obama about Kenguru // Youtube link