Life beyond height: little people and their struggle to get access to public buildings (includes audio story)

Our podcast series aims to advocate for equitable access in the world for little people. We’re committed to understanding their experiences, addressing their challenges in a world designed for average height, and spreading awareness that diversity extends beyond physical appearance.

Episode 1

Laura Palfrey sits down with Heidi and Brian Kirlew. They are the parents of a child with dwarfism. Heidi discusses the challenges her daughter Nora faces on a daily basis. “We have to explain to her [Nora] that some people will have a not-so-nice reaction or may say something that is ignorant or hurtful, but we have to first educate and not judge,” said Heidi Kirlew.

Brian shares the special accommodations he’s made in their house to better accommodate Nora’s condition. “I felt that basic human dignity is to be able to go to the bathroom by yourself, so I started looking at different accommodations that I could make for her [Nora] bathroom,” said Brian Kirlew.

Episode 2

Laura Palfrey sits down with Harolis Almonte-Castro. She’s a teacher with cartilage-hair Hypoplasia. Harolis shares her experience as a teacher with dwarfism and what accommodations she thinks should be essential in the school system for students and teachers of short stature. “As a school, we have to meet the needs of our students whether it’s educationally or physically,” said Harolis Almonte-Castro.

To see a mini-documentary on this topic click here.

To see a photo essay on this topic click here.

Laura Palfrey is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in digital communication and media. After graduation, Laura hopes to pursue a television career as an NBC producer. She also enjoys photography, traveling, and watching movies.

Jasmine Arocha is a student at Florida International University majoring in Digital TV and Multimedia Production. She was born and raised in Miami and has a creative eye for producing and editing videos. In the future, she hopes to work behind the scenes for the news.

Sheetal Bahadursingh is a Digital Communication and Media student at FIU. She was born and raised in South Florida and has achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. She has a passion for photography and enjoys editing video footage from her travels, crafting them into captivating travel documentaries. She has a creative eye for producing and editing videos and aspires to work behind the scenes in the news industry.