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Stories of Ohioans living with disabilities. The series grew out of a training WYSO conducted this spring with four Miami Valley disability advocacy groups: the Access Center for Independent Living, Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services, United Rehabilitation Services, and Wright State University’s Disability Services Center. For six weeks, producers April Laissle and Anna Lurie collaborated with people with disabilities to create radio stories. Each story in our series focuses on topics participants said were most important to them.  

Just Ask: Darrell Dean Talks Curiosity, Frankness

Darrell Dean
Basim Blunt
Darrell Dean

In this installment from our series Just Ask: Talking About Disability, we hear from Darrell Dean, who works at a disability services organization in Dayton. Darrell is 45, and was diagnosed with Spina Bifida at birth. As WYSO’s April Laissle explains, at first, Darrell struggled to find a job after he graduated from high school.

Highlights from the interview include:

"There's nothing I can do about my disability. I've got it, you know. So I have to live with it. It doesn't bother me or anything. I just cope with it and go on.”

"It was tough because I know I went to like three different places to interview and the one place that I interviewed I had a job coach and the guy that was interviewing me was asking my job coach the questions and not me. And she's like, 'he's right there if you want to ask him something, ask him something. Ask him a question.'"

"Be straight up don't don't beat behind the bush don't you know. Be straight up with me. You know if you've got a question ask me. Don't stare or anything like that. Just ask.”

Darrell Dean is an employee at United Rehabilitation Services. When he’s not working, Darrell like to bowl. His average is 120.


Just Ask: Talking About Disabilitywas produced by WYSO Morning Edition Host/Reporter April Laissle and Community Voices Producer Anna Lurie, with additional stories from WYSO Managing Editor Jess Mador and All Things Considered Host/Reporter Jerry Kenney. The series was edited for broadcast by Jess Mador and WYSO General Manager Neenah Ellis, and for the web by Webmaster Juliet Fromholt and Jess Mador.  Series participants included Todd Corthell, Lateef Brown, Michaela Feeser, Darrell Dean, Sue Reese, Heather Reese, Robert Sabwami, Susan Koller, and Tom Webb.