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Podcast 33: Dwarfism-Building A Work Environment for People with Disabilities

Dwarfism- Actor Peter Dinklage Quote about Reactions to His Stature in Public

Podcast (Audio Only)

In this episode Joanne Williams, LCSW discusses with Becky Curran Kekula after 1,000 applications. 100 interviews. Four months. Three temporary positions. This may sound like the premise for this holiday season’s new comedy - but it’s not. It is, however, the real-life experience of Becky Curran Kekula, who ended up working behind the scenes in the film industry for the first part of her career.

Becky is an international motivational speaker and advocate for inclusion, who also happens to have dwarfism! She has spoken at over 300 venues such as companies, government agencies, and schools.

She serves as the Director of Disability Equality Index at Disability: IN, as the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Working to empower hiring managers to practice rigorous self-awareness of unconscious biases and related risks in order to enable fair and equitable people decisions, learn how unconscious bias can affect the hiring process. 

Summary of today Podcast: 

  1. What would be helpful for parents to know?
  2. How can the general public increase their awareness in order to be informed of respectful behavior?
  3. What we can do and not assume in the grocery store?

Question for today is? Do you drive and where do you find your clothes? She uses pedal extensions, and she does deactivate the air bags. She goes to regular stores; she buys capris and short sleeves and at times gets alterations.

Becky joins us today.

Advocating for disability /dwarfism inclusion in the workplace. 

Dwarfism is short stature that results from a genetic or medical condition. The average adult height among people with dwarfism is 4 feet.

Becky tells her story and the challenges she faced while trying to enter the workplace. What accommodations did you need?  She worked at a talent agency for 5 years, now she works in corporate America for disability inclusion. At Disability: IN.  She is married for 1 ½ years to a person with dwarfism.  No children currently. Children are possible.

Today we discuss what Becky sees personally in the workplace and ways to Educate and inspire our listeners to actively practice self-awareness and acceptance of differences.

  1. Ways to help in the grocery store? “Ask is there something I can help you with and I’m here if you need anything?  Put it out there that you are willing to help? Don’t assume they can’t do something; everyone wants to feel empowered to take care of themselves.

Discussed a quote from Peter Dinklage an actor who has dwarfism from the Game of Thrones and reactions to his Stature in public.  But, the difference Becky feels as an advocate or voice for empowerment, where Peter Dinklage, wants his work to speak for him, not his stature.

She suggests for parents to find a specialist, Little people of America., LPAonline.org for medical or social Support. Or find a trusted nonprofit program to improve lives, “Helping with pride more than fixing the conditions.”

The verbiage some people with Dwarfism do not prefer is using the word midget,  Some find it offensive. Seeing everyone as an individual not as one specific attribute. 

Becky has a special offer to our listeners today a Virtual speech presentation.

She can be reached at:

beckymotivates@gmail.com

beckymotivates.com

Resources or References: https://ncdj.org/style-guide/

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