Disability Rights

Michael Kutcher, Inspirational SpeakerFor nearly 30 years Michael Kutcher (superstar Ashton's twin) divulged to very few people that he's struggled since birth from a mild form of cerebral palsy. Then he met Bella, a little girl afflicted with a severe form of CP. Bella can't speak so today Michael speaks for her. He advocates for people with disabilities by lobbying government officials and by accepting motivational speaking engagements. He also supports philanthropic groups, such as Reaching for the Stars (a foundation of hope for children with cerebral palsy), Organize (which encourages organ donation), and the Starkey Hearing Foundation

Michael embraces his philanthropic activities gracefully despite the demands of single parenting his young son and holding down a full-time job in the financial services industry. And he manages to do all this despite a plethora of lifelong health challenges, including a successful heart transplant at age 13. For Michael, the consequences of a mild form of CP encompass hearing loss, poor eyesight, weakness on the right side of his body, and a slight speech impediment. To learn how Ashton and the twins' parents helped Michael develop the 'I can do it' attitude that's enabled him to achieve incredible successes despite multiple health hurdles, tune in this week to The Studio with Cheryl and her very inspiring guest Michael Kutcher.

Susan Nussbaum, Author of Good Kings, Bad KingsDisability rights activist Susan Nussbaum says suicide among the disabled is too often the plot device of choice in literature, TV, and film. In 2008 Utne Reader honored Susan as one of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" for her work with girls with disabilities.

Susan's first novel, Good Kings, Bad Kings paints a complex and vibrant picture of what life is really like for institutionalized young disabled people and their caregivers, lovers, families, and friends. Barbara Kingsolver calls Good Kings, Bad Kings "a stunning accomplishment" and "fiction at its best."

To begin gaining a more realistic understanding of the lives of the disabled, tune in to this rebroadcast episode of The Studio with Cheryl and Susan this week.