Some people love to read. Some love to watch TV. And some love to get their information from radio, podcasts or audiobooks. If you’re in the last category, we have good news for you.
There’s a new way to get information from ICS. Beginning this month, we are launching Independence Radio, a series of podcasts for the ICS community featuring lively conversations on health, disability, aging well, advocacy, the arts and more. ICS member Stephanie Wallace (in the photo at the left), who hosts her own internet radio show, Love and Intimacy for the Disabled (LAID) on BlogTalkRadio.com, will be asking the questions and leading the discussions. Her guests will include interesting and expert folks in the ICS community, including staff, leadership and members.
The first Independence Radio podcast features ICS Member Advocate Marcus Johnson, whose story we covered on this blog in January. Marcus spoke to Stephanie about a subject near and dear to his heart: self-advocacy. We think ICS members will find the conversation stimulating, useful and, perhaps, even inspirational. As Stephanie observes in the program, “With 6,000 members, you have to be a self-advocate.” Marcus has plenty of words of wisdom about how to speak up for yourself to get what you need from ICS and in life.
Why (and what is) a podcast?
Podcasts get their names from the Apple iPod, on which they were first made available in the middle of the first decade of this century. Essentially, they are digital sound files you can download to a personal listening device like an iPod, or more typical these days, a phone, and listen to it on demand. Usually they come in a series of episodes you can subscribe to.
Just as YouTube and video-on-demand have disrupted the way we watch television, enabling us to choose our own programming, podcasting and the internet have changed the way we listen to radio. No longer do we have to sit in our parked cars to finish listening to that fascinating story on NPR’s All Things Considered; now we can hit pause and finish it whenever we’re ready.
You may know the special pleasure of giving yourself over to the unexpected selections of a gifted radio programmer. But sometimes you just want information on some particular something and you want it now. Podcasting makes such impulse listening virtually effortless by enabling you to search all podcasts for any subject that interests you.
So why is ICS hopping on the podcasting train? We want to reach our members where they want to be reached. We recently conducted a survey of readers of our community newsletter The Independent, partly to gauge how ICS members prefer to get their information. We learned that most of our older members (65 and up) are just fine with print. But we also found that the younger our members, the more likely they are to get their information from digital sources like computers and smartphones.
At ICS we also believe that offering multiple media sources enriches understanding, adding new dimensions to information. It’s one thing to read Marcus’s transcribed eloquence on the subject of self-advocacy; it’s quite another to listen to his and Stephanie’s passion as they talk about this truly vital issue. In the future, as you find a story in The Independent that interests you, you may well be able to follow up on it by listening to Independence Radio.
We are very fortunate to have the talented Stephanie Wallace as our host. We know you’ll enjoy her humor, intelligence, curiosity, and perspective as much as we do.
“I am very fond of ICS, and I fully recognize the positive impact it has had on my life,” Stephanie says. “As an interviewer, though, I will always represent the consumer’s point of view. It is very important to me to bring to the ICS consumer information that will help them get the most out of their services—and, on the other side, to help ICS understand the needs of consumers.”
Soundcloud is available for free download on Apple and Android phones. Watch for our debut on iTunes sometime this spring. In the meantime, listen to our first podcast right here.