Disabled Lives Matter
Season 1, Episode 32
Co-Hosts: Nadine Vogel & Norma Stanley
Guest: Lionel Woodyard

Intro: [Music playing in background] Disabled Lives Matter… here we go!

Voiceover: Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the disabled lives matter podcast with co-hosts Nadine Vogel and Norma Stanley… yay!

Nadine Vogel: Hello Hello everyone I am nadine vogel your co host of disabled lives matter and joining me today we have who do we have norma.

NORMA STANLEY: it’s norma stanley Hello how’s everybody today.

Nadine Vogel: norma you and I just have so much fun doing this don’t we.

Nadine Vogel: disable lives matter is a podcast, but it is more than a podcast, it is a movement, and in order to really have a successful movement, you have to have amazing people on your show, and we are doing that, today, with Lionel woodyard Lionel, thank you for joining us today.

Lionel Woodyard: Thank you for allowing me and ask i’m glad to be a part.

Nadine Vogel: Oh good good so let’s start with the fact that, as far as I know you do not have a disability, but are in fact a disability advocate Is that correct.

Lionel Woodyard: I work in an environment with people with disabilities.

Lionel Woodyard: But most of them have some unknown disability seen and not seeing.

Lionel Woodyard: and are.

Lionel Woodyard: capable eligible to possibly at some point in your life become a part of the disabled community.

Nadine Vogel: Absolutely it’s one of those communities we can all join.

Lionel Woodyard: I didn’t learn that until later so i’m not being smart, but we all are capable of possible candidates to be a part of a Community that is the largest minority community on the planet.

Nadine Vogel: Absolutely it’s one of those groups any of us can join at any time.

Nadine Vogel: Now you are i’ll say your day job you own a limo and transportation company correct.

Lionel Woodyard: Well i’m retired from Clark Atlanta university.

Lionel Woodyard: But because of the retirement I started Atlanta Chauffeur Service, which is a bible business now Atlanta Chauffer Service based in Atlanta, but we do transportation anywhere on the planet.

Nadine Vogel: Oh wow.

Lionel Woodyard: So that business still thrives but because of Covid we haven’t been very very active.

Lionel Woodyard: So I do some.

Lionel Woodyard: Other things in the transportation arena.

Nadine Vogel: got it got it so share with us, if you will, your introduction to the disability community.

Lionel Woodyard: In 1970 I attended mobile state Community college well there, it was junior high.

Lionel Woodyard: And I saw a sign it’s it’s summer job camp New York, I had no possible.

Lionel Woodyard: Summer job opportunity that i’m wantedto pursue.

Lionel Woodyard: camp i’ve been I mean eagle scout.

Lionel Woodyard: work.

Lionel Woodyard: At a boy scout camp six consecutive summers as an eagle scout but the hook was New York.

Lionel Woodyard: going to New York from Alabama.

Lionel Woodyard: Okay flying on the airplane which I hadn’t done nor anyone in my family had done that part of the story is quite interesting but but I worked at a camp in upstate New York, we part of the story.

Lionel Woodyard: called amounts in New York and the name of the camp is Jened camp Jened and it says camp jened for the handicap, which was the word back then.

Lionel Woodyard: My in my interview with Mr gene Morgan who hired me to work at this camp I don’t recall him, saying that the camp was for handicap kids and adults yet that was part of the interview would not have mattered, I was interested in getting out of out of Alabama.

Lionel Woodyard: Looking back over it now I don’t think that I got a job, I think that I have an invitation.

Lionel Woodyard: To be there as.

Lionel Woodyard: those others who came to be there in summer 1970 they were invited by something really, really special and we call that the jened spirit invited us.

Nadine Vogel: Okay, very cool so tell us to tell us what was it like being part of that camp.

Lionel Woodyard: It freed me the first time I felt a part of a Community of the human community.

Lionel Woodyard: Cause growing up in mobile Alabama in 1970 things were still new in terms of.

Lionel Woodyard: Diversity in terms of access being able to go places and do things you know I grew up in the 50s and 60s in mobile Alabama in the south.

Lionel Woodyard: Where there were laws that said, people could not be together, you could even sit on a park bench with someone who was not the same race that you are you know that I grew up in that environment so i’m going to this camp.

Lionel Woodyard: For the first time interacting with people that were none African American.

Lionel Woodyard: That was very, very new and refreshing to me let me tell you something i’ve worked at the camp, the boy scout team as an eagle scout who prior to working on.

Lionel Woodyard: at jened I work as an eagle scout prior to going to jened this is what happened there were two camps pushmataha and leon roberts they were both segregated

Nadine Vogel: Ah.

Lionel Woodyard: Leon Roberts was the black camp pushmataha was a white camp united way said, unless you stop this segregated scouting we’re not going to fund you so they built one big camp.

Lionel Woodyard: at Camp Leon Roberts eagle scout Lionel taught swimming and camp mirrored that.

Lionel Woodyard: At the new White can eagle scout Lionel worked in the commissary washing dishes.

Lionel Woodyard: job is not treated as an equal to the other staff members right when I went to Camp Jened

Nadine Vogel: Umm.

Lionel Woodyard: I was hired as a counselor and a swimming instructor that’s exactly what I did I became a counselor and swimming instructor I remember the day we arrived it was a Sunday Sunday night we flew up from mobile Alabama.

Lionel Woodyard: No one in my group there was six of us had ever flown on a plane.

Nadine Vogel: So it sounds like it was inclusive, though, for you on so many different levels.

Lionel Woodyard: It was totally inclusive, it was inclusive.

Lionel Woodyard: In terms of diversity, and it was inclusive in terms of our cultural inclusiveness.

Lionel Woodyard: In terms of being exposed to a new culture, because most people never meet anyone with a disability right.

Nadine Vogel: Right So what did you learn from that, what did you learn about the disability community by being that camp counselor.

Lionel Woodyard: First person who I shook hands with the camp was a counselor named Paul Goodman he was born with.

Lionel Woodyard: A disability his hands was not his hand was not a hand

Lionel Woodyard: But what he had he stuck out to shake.

Lionel Woodyard: So I grasped it and shook and said okay all right, you know he didn’t have any inhibitions about who he was.

Nadine Vogel: Right.

Lionel Woodyard: And his gesture Jewish guy I guess it was that of acceptance, so I now, felt, oh Okay, this is going to be different.

Nadine Vogel:  Right.

Lionel Woodyard: So I gain a sense of freedom and and inclusion.

Nadine Vogel: Did you have.

Nadine Vogel: So beyond beyond that inclusive nature, would you say that they were Aha moments for you they’re like oh my gosh oh my gosh like just.

Lionel Woodyard: During the training. We were there for an entire week training to work with kids and adults who would be coming to the camp from New York City with disabilities, if you don’t know what a disability is but that one or 2, 3, 4 people riding around getting around the camp, who are in wheelchairs.

Nadine Vogel: Hum.. 

Lionel Woodyard: And i’ll say okay. Because most of us have never seen anyone with with my grandmother was in a wheelchair, but she was not disabled right right she was grandma in a wheelchair, we didn’t no.

Nadine Vogel: [laughter]

Lionel Woodyard: Okay, but here they are 200 wheelchair, people are people in wheelchairs coming in one week’s time and there are a lot of things and you’re going to have to do.

Lionel Woodyard: As a counselor to make the lives work so in order for you to understand what this is, we have a Litmus tests, they took a hat and you reached in and pulled out your disability for twenty four hours

 

Nadine Vogel: Yep.

 
Lionel Woodyard: Okay, so if you were blind your disability was being visually impaired, they visually impaired, you.

Lionel Woodyard: For twenty-four hours and everything you did was that I was cerebral palsy.

Lionel Woodyard: And it put me in a wheelchair, and they really, really tied my legs, so I couldn’t and my arms.

Lionel Woodyard: Okay.

Nadine Vogel: Right.

Lionel Woodyard: And I had to allow someone to take me to the bathroom, okay.

Nadine Vogel: To take me to the shower.

Nadine Vogel: wow.

Lionel Woodyard: And to feed me.

Lionel Woodyard: You see, the reason I said I was invited because some people who showed up. couldn’t do it

Nadine Vogel:  yeah yeah.

Lionel Woodyard: I stayed I accepted the invitation and got an understanding of what would be happening so my Aha moment is Aha okay your ultimate humanity comes out when you.

Lionel Woodyard: Work with someone with a disability, your ultimate because if you wash someone face other than yours, you have to do it as if you’re washing your own face.

Nadine Vogel: Absolutely.

Lionel Woodyard: Taking someone to the bathroom.

Nadine Vogel: Absolutely absolutely now that’s that’s really important, thank you for sharing that, so we have to just take a very short break so for our listeners do not go away we’re having this amazing conversation.

Nadine Vogel: And, and when we come back we’re going to talk about the movie that’s been made with some of your old friends and talk about how to this movement keeps moving forward so stay tuned everybody will be right back.

Voiceover:  And now it’s time for a commercial break.

[COMMERCIAL]
Have you attended a springboard Consulting event? Well, you should, we have the best events and our 2022 events are just under way. Firstly is the Brg Summit happening on Tuesday, April 26th, and then following that is Disability Matters. North America Conference and Awards that’s happening Wednesday and Thursday, April, 27 and 28. Both events are being delivered by a live stream. If interested in attending, please visit www.consultspringboard.com for more information.

Voiceover:  And now back to our show.

 

Nadine Vogel: Hello everyone, this is nadine vogel and norma Stanley. 

NORMA STANLEY:  Hey.

Nadine Vogel:  Back with another great episode of disabled lives matter and we are talking with Lionel woodyard and norma I think you had some questions you’d like to ask, Lionel.

NORMA STANLEY: Well yeah I mean I just love the fact that Lionel was able to stay in touch with some of the people, he became friends with back at Camp Jened, and some of these people now internationally known disability activists and you know, Oscar nominated directors tell us about.

NORMA STANLEY: Those people and how it feels to be connected, with those people what’s going on now.

Lionel Woodyard: Well, we were more family.

Nadine Vogel: yeah.

Lionel Woodyard: We were a family.

Lionel Woodyard: I went up summer 70.

Lionel Woodyard: I went back up summer 71.

Lionel Woodyard: I went back up summer 72 thinking that that would be my last time before getting a job that was the year that I graduated college and I went back up.

Lionel Woodyard: Um, the first year.

Lionel Woodyard: I you became so connected to the camp outside, in addition to the Councelors but, more importantly, the campus I still  remember Clifford Seagle, Calvin Cruthers, Scott Menthal, Edmond Cremmins, ah Carrie Walker.

Lionel Woodyard: Um… I thought this guy’s today Lopez john McCormick who taught me sign in one of them no in one day because we you learn the ABC’s with john you know.

Nadine Vogel: Right.

Lionel Woodyard: It would be years I would be driving and I would I taught all my children how to do the ABC’s in sign.

Nadine Vogel: Wow.

Lionel Woodyard: But you remember them because they became an intricate part of who you are.

Nadine Vogel: Right.

Lionel Woodyard:  I could still hear Clifford Seagle’s voice.

NORMA STANLEY: But you also know people like miss Judy Heumann and Jim LeBrecht.

NORMA STANLEY: Part of the netflix documentary Oscar nominated documentary crip camp, and you still stayed friends with them for all these years.

Lionel Woodyard: Okay let’s go with this summer 72 after the summer 72 I moved from Alabama to New York, I live with Larry Allison who’s on the film the big guy that was digging holes for the kids there.

Lionel Woodyard: he’s the greatest guy in the world, he was a person that that may it understood that the disability, the world was disabled.

Lionel Woodyard: Yes, we didn’t provide access for the people it wasn’t the people that had a problem it was the world. 

Nadine Vogel: Yep.

Lionel Woodyard:  And he became the New York City czar for disability, so when I moved to New York, I live in his home jack geckelman or sheldon corey Jim LaBecht. Brecht was my camper.

Nadine Vogel: [laughter].

Lionel Woodyard: On Jim LaBrecht was my camper.

Nadine Vogel: wow.

Lionel Woodyard: I have a picture of Jim LaBrecht and I we work just just every day you woke up you were on it until sunup to sundown you were. doing things and experiences.

Nadine Vogel:  And Jim is the Co director of the film I think crip camp right.

Lionel Woodyard: Jim is a Co director of the film from.

Lionel Woodyard: High School went to California for college he went to San Diego state to major in music in our in sound he wanted to be the sound technician for the grateful dead.

Nadine Vogel: [laughter].

Lionel Woodyard: And, most of the New York community, that had started disabled in action moved out to California.

Lionel Woodyard: Judy Heumann on Judy Judy is the most courageous bad ass woman you ever want to meet period if I had a knife fight in an alley I want Judy Heumann in that fight with me.

Nadine Vogel: [laughter].

Lionel Woodyard: she’s such a.

Lionel Woodyard: sweet really dynamic woman who refuse to be denied.

Lionel Woodyard: Man she she got a degree in education, when she was told to major in social work she didn’t want to major in social work she wanted to be a teacher, she was told she couldn’t be a teacher because she’s a fire hazzard.

Lionel Woodyard: Yeah. You know, in the interview that Judy Heuman when Judy Heumann got her job of started being a.

Lionel Woodyard: There were people like myself and Sheldon Court supposedly non disabled people who were part of the organization, but the organization was run by individuals with disabilities.

Lionel Woodyard: So, so we stayed in touch over the years, even through phone calls and you just heard, where people were, but when the Internet happened then we were able to really connect but I’ve been going out to California visiting Jim for years, and he to to would be here in the summer.

Nadine Vogel: wow wow that’s that’s amazing I you know, I think.

Nadine Vogel: you’re listening to this, I it almost makes me want to ask every single person.

Nadine Vogel: To do something in the disability Community if they’re not disabled themselves or don’t have a disabled family member to do something in the disability Community to be able to feel that invitation that you felt.

Nadine Vogel: Right.

Lionel Woodyard: Yeah.

Nadine Vogel: And come away with the learnings and the perspective and appreciation that that you’ve come away with because that’s what we’re missing we’re missing that from a human rights perspective we’re missing it from a diversity perspective I don’t know how you feel about that.

Lionel Woodyard:  Well.  I think that the world has to open up so that people with disabilities, become more visible.

Nadine Vogel: yep.

Lionel Woodyard: You understand.  See still my nephew Malcolm has cerebral palsy.

Lionel Woodyard: Malcolm is. 26-27 he went to school at Monday’s Meal, Monday’s Meal is the name of the school here and and and our Atlanta he went to regular school.

Nadine Vogel:  uh huh.

Lionel Woodyard: Okay.  His mother has made Malcolm an intricate part of the family and of the Community and the same with Norma.

Lionel Woodyard: Norma’s daughter Sierra is an intricate part of the family and the Community, but for every Sierra Stanley and for every Malcolm Janckie Janckie there 34,000 other kids who we never see and a lot of it has to do with parenting.

Nadine Vogel: Yes. 

Lionel Woodyard: Okay.  Some parents don’t want their children, but either they are over protective, not over protecting protecting them, you know, but the more we see and become exposed to people with.

Nadine Vogel: Yes.

Lionel Woodyard: visible disabilities, we recognize the person before we recognize the disability.

Nadine Vogel: absolutely.

Lionel Woodyard: Accepting, the world will become for disabilities, I get pissed off with you know we have a look at the grocery store and you see a car parked in a disabled parking.

Nadine Vogel: Yup.

Lionel Woodyard: I walk around to see.  

Nadine Vogel: [laughter].

 

Lionel Woodyard: I walk around the card to see if they have a tag. I say Oh, maybe I see him in the store.  If they’re not I curse.

Nadine Vogel: yeah yeah.

Nadine Vogel: yeah I know because you know, like you said earlier, you know it’s one of those.

Nadine Vogel: it’s one of those communities that anyone can join at any time yet.

Nadine Vogel: If you look how people with disabilities are often treated it’s no one wants to join that Community unless, of course, like to your point oh it’s benefiting me by parking in an accessible spot when I when I shouldn’t be.

Nadine Vogel: You know I drive it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me, so I agree with you completely.

NORMA STANLEY: You know what no we gotta go soon, but I wanted Lionel to share, about the historic site that they’re doing at camp jened.

Nadine Vogel: Oh yeah please.

Lionel Woodyard: All right, as you know.

Lionel Woodyard: Camp jened is why there was a film called crip camp.

Lionel Woodyard: yep it’s based on the movement that came out of crip camp, not that it was the beginning of the movement, it was a movement that was sparked more set on fire by by camp Jened by the likes of Judy Heumann and Larry Allison and Denise Denise Sharod Jacobson now, who was hoot hot.

Lionel Woodyard: woman.

Lionel Woodyard: I used to tell Denise’s husband, that I love your wife.

Nadine Vogel: [laughter].

Lionel Woodyard: Densie says, if you remember in the film was just phenomenal.

Nadine Vogel: yeah .

Lionel Woodyard: but oh.

Lionel Woodyard: Oh.

Lionel Woodyard: You know I’m over 71 what was the question, I got the question I think.

NORMA STANLEY: it’s about the historic. They are making it a historic site, camp jened.

Lionel Woodyard: The film and the camp.

Lionel Woodyard: I talk with people within the Community as event, we need to get a historic a marker because half those people are going to want to know where is the camp.

Nadine Vogel: Absolutely.

Lionel Woodyard: So, so we call up to the hunter mountain and we were very, very warmly received by.

Lionel Woodyard: By DD Fork it’s this DD Fork which is the first person I talked to.

Lionel Woodyard: Linda Gary an attorney that’s a part of the city council up there.

Lionel Woodyard: And Gary. Slovsky

Lionel Woodyard: I’m not sure how he 

Lionel Woodyard: pronounces it.

Lionel Woodyard: I think this is incorrect.

Lionel Woodyard: They they they They grabbed the ball and got it rolling.

Nadine Vogel: Then the things that had to be done, the state.

Lionel Woodyard: of New York had to get involved.

Lionel Woodyard: But the site of camp jened which is now a construction company.

Lionel Woodyard: will be designated as a historic place in the State of New York October 2 2021 and I’ll be there i’m going to M-C the dedication and hopefully read a letter from Barack Obama.

Lionel Woodyard: Barack and Michelle Obama became Executive Director of the film crip camp we have right now 30 odd people that are from the Jened family that are coming from as far away as California and Arizona.

Lionel Woodyard: We have had heard the camp camp America counselors from Europe, a woman named Chris and a guy from Poland, who worked at the camp have seen some of the publicity and they’re they’re not going to be there, but their wishes are going to be there.

Lionel Woodyard: We commissioned I commissioned we commissioned a t-shirt that says.

Lionel Woodyard: Camp Camp Jened 

Nadine Vogel: uh huh.

Lionel Woodyard: a spirit.

Lionel Woodyard: That sparked the disability.

Lionel Woodyard: rights movement.

Nadine Vogel: Nice 

Lionel Woodyard: changing the world forever.

Nadine Vogel:  I love it.

Lionel Woodyard: Camp Jened spirit lives still.

Nadine Vogel:  Awe, I love it.

Lionel Woodyard: Exists two wheelchairs on there.  That shirt is available if you email because we don’t have anything online.

Lionel Woodyard: But for those out there who are interested in getting this once is. This this.

Lionel Woodyard: Is family.

Nadine Vogel:  yes.

Lionel Woodyard: Should, Join the Jened family and get a shirt.

Lionel Woodyard: Well, October second or after and October 2 from this point on they all will be camp jened day.

Nadine Vogel: I love I love it I love it and norma, we need to ask, we definitely need to ask um.

Nadine Vogel: Who else wants to get the shirts, you know, we should talk to some folks about doing well.

Lionel Woodyard: i’ll give you my email address can.

NORMA STANLEY: Do that right now.

Lionel Woodyard: Yes, send it, send it to lionelje@aol.com yeah i’m still AOL.

Lionel Woodyard: Or send it to Lionelwoodyard@gmail.com

Lionel Woodyard: give me your size your mailing address, and we will get back to you phone numbers are better for me cause I call people.

Nadine Vogel: yeah that sounds that sounds great because we actually have Judy Heumann on speaking she’s like a keynote speaker at a small disability event that springboard is my company is hosting on Tuesday virtually so.

Nadine Vogel: This is a perfect timing.

Lionel Woodyard: Tell her you talked to Lionel.  Have you read judy’s Book.

Nadine Vogel: Yes.

Lionel Woodyard: That book is off the chain.

Nadine Vogel: I know, I know.

Lionel Woodyard: I know often times I listened to Judy’s books, I like to listen audiblely.

Nadine Vogel: Right.

Lionel Woodyard: The woman who’s reading judy’s book is almost as feisty, as Judy.

Lionel Woodyard: that’s my girl I love July, i’ve been in touch with her since 1970 we kept in touch.

Nadine Vogel: Well, I will definitely tell you said hello, this is perfect timing and Lionel Thank you so so much for joining us today, I think that I know that our listeners are going to benefit from hearing from your story and and I know I did I just enjoy just talking with you norma same here right.

NORMA STANLEY: yeah well you know Lionel and I have become pretty good friends, so I appreciate him taking time out of his schedule to participate with us on disabled lives matter and we look forward to learning more about that historic site at camp jened, so thank you, Lionel.

Nadine Vogel: Absolutely.

Lionel Woodyard: Here about crip camp, see crip camp and you’ll see the family.

Nadine Vogel: yeah absolutely.

Nadine Vogel: Thank you once again and for our listeners, we know that you enjoyed this episode and we will see you next time on disabled lives matter bye everybody.

NORMA STANLEY: bye bye be blessed 

Lionel Woodyard:  Thank you.

Closing comment:  [Music playing in background.] Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of disabled lives matter. We look forward to seeing you next Thursday.  Have a great week!

Disclaimer: The views, information, or opinions expressed during the Disabled Lives Matter podcast series are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Springboard Global Enterprises, Springboard Productions, and its employees, contractors, subsidiaries, and affiliates.  The developers of the Disabled Lives Matter podcast are not responsible and do not verify for accuracy any of the information contained in the podcast series available for listening on the Podbean hosting site and/or any other associated hosting entity. The Primary purpose of this series is to educate and inform, and does not constitute disability, medical and/or other professional advice, and/or service(s). This podcast is available for private, non-commercial use only. Advertising incorporated into, in association with, or targeted toward the content of this podcast, without the express approval and knowledge of the Disabled Lives Matter’s site developers is forbidden. You may not edit, modify, or redistribute this podcast.  The developers of the Disabled Lives Matter site assume no liability for any activities in connection with this podcast or for use of this podcast in connection with any other Website, Computer, and/or listening device.

 

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Originally published as S1-Ep32_Lioned_Woodyard at Disabled Lives Matter

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