This Week's Episode: 

"Free and Appropriate Education? DIY Punks' Take on Disabilities Education Legislation" 

Episode 1. An IDEA

Welcome to the first episode of a Punkast mini-series: 

"Free and Appropriate Education?: DIY Punks' Take on Disabilities Education Legislation." 

This past Monday, October 30th, 2023 marks the 33rd anniversary of the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act." Coincidentally, UCLA's Disability studies major was just announced, making it the first of UC and Cal states to offer such a program. So, in critical punk fashion, I want to interrogate the system in which I am implicated in order to understand where we've been and where we can go on the subject of punk, disability, and education.

This Punkast mini-series will delve into conversations about specific disability legislation concerning education and punk's historical time frame, namely. The episodes will delve into the impact of public education-based disability legislation on the beginnings, growth, and developments in punk subculture. We'll be getting into historical aspects of past legislation and historically prominent actions that are relatively contemporaneous with DIY and commercial punk generational shifts. For example, the "Education for All Handicapped Children Act", the EHA, was signed into law in 1975, when punk subculture was in its nascency. Both this law and punk came about during the post-conformity age in the US that followed the long 1960s. In just two years later, in 1977, punk exploded....

In 1990, the legislation was reauthorized as the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act," or IDEA, which promised to, quote, guarantee a free and appropriate education to all school-aged children, end quote. Just two years later, in 1992, the documentary "1991 The Year Punk Broke" was released, and just two years after that, Spin Magazine famously pictured Green Day on the cover with the caption "1994, the Year Punk Broke." The time period around the pivotal moment of the IDEA reauthorization (late 1980s and early 1990s) sees punk subculture as changing again in significant ways. But, how do these changes align with disability legislation and punks' experiences at school? I want to hear from YOU, so, please DM me on my IG or email me to share your ideas and/or story about punk, disability, and education. 

And, as, always, thanks for listening! 


IG: punkastucla 


Featured Songs 

Dead Kennedys, “Hyperactive Child”

The Clash, “1977”

Green Day, “Basket Case”

The Alice Bag Band, “Survive”


This episode has been produced and hosted by Jessica Schwartz with research and editorial assistance from Daisy Stephens. 

Transcripts are available on the website and (we're working to get them) on Spotify. 

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