"Hearing Is Believing: Children, Disability, American Radio and Popular Culture, 1910–70"

Walton O. Schalik, MD, PhD

Walton O. Schalik, MD, PhD, is assistant professor of medical history, rehabilitation, history of science and pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Using scripts, recordings and archival supporting documentation, he explores the shifting, widespread and often dramatic appearance of disabilities in American radio culture in the 1910s–70s.

What emerges is a provocative sense of how important this cultural medium was as a “backdrop” to the increasingly changing place of disability in American life, with children as one locus of that cultural uptake.