The Landscape Podcast Is Here!

/ March 31, 2020

By Naveh Eldar

About 18 months ago I started looking for a podcast on disability issues. (For those who may not know, a podcast is a recorded audio show, like talk radio, but online or through certain apps. More on apps later.) There are many podcasts out there, and many wonderful voices to be heard, but none were exactly what I was hoping to find.

It’s said, when writing a book, write one that you’d like to read. I took that and decided to create a podcast I wanted to listen to. The tagline is “A podcast on people, programs and businesses that are changing the landscape for individuals with any type of disability.” With a description like that, it’s fairly clear why I’ve named it The Landscape. The conversations are with people and groups who have made a national and international impact, or who have a voice that I think needs to be highlighted. I want listeners to be educated, or motivated, or inspired, or in that perfect episode – all of the above. It’s a big ask, but luckily, I lean on the amazing individuals who have agreed to share their time with us! While The Landscape will launch with three episodes, new episodes will be released monthly, typically on the first of each month.

Very soon I’d like to incorporate clips of success stories from my listeners (on work, family, travel, etc.), because your voice needs to be heard, too! What would you like to hear in this space that has been created? You can start shooting me your ideas to my email which is: comments@thelandscapepodcast.com.

The Landscape will launch today, March 31, 2020, and the following three episodes can all be listened to directly from the TennesseeWorks page here: Podcast Homepage

Episode 1: An interview with Susie Rutkowski, the co-founder of Project SEARCH, which is an internship program originally for high school seniors with an intellectual and/or developmental disability. Instead of going to the classroom their final year of high school, they spend the day learning and working at some of the largest companies in their communities. Currently, there are also adult versions, but you’ll have to listen to the podcast to learn more.

Episode 2: A blunt conversation with Emma Dillard, a peer-advocate (also known as self-advocate) and speaker who has a dual diagnosis of major depression and alcohol addiction. If you want to hear it straight, then listen to Emma!

Episode 3: A chat with Debbie Becker of Individual Placement and Support, which is the gold standard model of supported employment for individuals with a significant mental health diagnosis. It’s evidence-based, with research date going back to the 1990’s! The good news is this method is starting to be used with several other populations, including veterans, the IDD community, and more.

Due to our working from home during this pandemic, I will be releasing a special episode on April 15 featuring Deborah Dagit! If you haven’t heard this amazing trailblazer speak, you do NOT want to miss that one. Deborah is a highly sought -after expert and consultant on diversity and inclusion, as well as a fierce disability advocate. She gets her points across through storytelling, and her stories are fascinating, insightful and will challenge your viewpoint. You may remember her from being the keynote speaker at the Disability Employment Awareness Luncheon organized by Disability Rights Tennessee a few years back.

Then on May 1, there will be an extremely interesting interview with professor Gerald Christian of Middle Tennessee State University, as he talks about his published research on sexuality in the quadriplegic community. Professor Christian is himself quadriplegic and his work is eye-opening, with quotes from participants, which range from hilarious, to frustrating.

But what I’m most excited about is getting you involved, both as a listener and contributor. You can start by connecting with “The Landscape Podcast” on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. For those with hearing loss, there will be transcripts, and YouTube will have captions. If you love The Landscape, or just like it a lot, you can share any episode via email or social media and make sure to subscribe through iTunes, Spotify or most apps that host podcasts. Since it is a brand-new show, at the moment it’s easier to find by searching “Naveh Eldar” on your podcast apps. When you subscribe, each episode will be automatically downloaded for you, then you can listen at your leisure. Make sure to leave a review, because that is how others will find it!

Lastly, sign up for the newsletter to get additional information on guests, and previews to upcoming episodes, you can sign-up here: Subscribe

I look forward to bringing you content that is meaningful and entertaining!


Naveh Eldar smilingNaveh Eldar has worked in the field of disability services for more than 20 years and is considered a subject matter expert in the area of supported employment. He has supported individuals with severe psychiatric disabilities as the director of supported employment with a Nashville-based non-profit organization, and as a Tennessee statewide trainer of the Individual Placement and Support method of supported employment. In his current role with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Naveh supports providers across the state through the Employment and Community First CHOICES Medicaid program, which serves individuals with intellectual and development disabilities.

March 31, 2020

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