“Yes We Can – In the Know About Disability” won the Rika Welsh Community Impact Award from the Alliance for Community Media’s Northeast Region. This award recognizes a show which has made relevant and effective use of their local TV facilities in New England or New York. “The Empty Chair: Exposing Addiction” won in 2013 and “Call to Serve” in 2014.
As members of the city’s Commission on Disabilities, Deb Blood and Jim Beagan came to Methuen Community Studios to produce a show where they could explore a wide range of topics affecting people with disabilities, their families and caregivers. Since 2017, “Yes We Can” has tackled the Affordable Care Act, parking laws, family as caregivers, dating and relationships, travel with disabilities, mental health, and dealing with the pandemic. As Jim says during every show, “We are doing the show in the hopes of showing you how to live your best life.”
“We taught them about producing and hosting their own show, and helped connect them to others in the community who had already trained on our equipment, forming the basis of their most loyal crew,” said MCS Executive Director Karen Hayden. “Deb and Jim have shared some very personal things on this program and I truly believe that they are making a difference by doing it.”
In his acceptance speech at the ACM Northeast Awards dinner in Providence, RI, Jim Beagan said, “There is another audience that we are trying to reach and that is the larger community because everybody has to realize that everyone is one illness — one accident — one birth away from joining our community (with disabilities).”
At the MCS Annual meeting, Deb Blood added, “You took a woman who’s a widow who didn’t know what she was going to do with her life – a retired teacher – and gave her a new passion and I thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.”
“Yes We Can” airs on Comcast 22 / FIOS 33 (HD2133) on Wednesdays at 10:30 am and Thursdays at 7:30 pm. Past programs are on demand at archive.methuentv.org under “Yes We Can”.