ALAMEDA (CBS SF) – Learning disabilities are no laughing matter, but Nina G has turned her’s into a stand-up routine.

Her stutter and her struggles growing up disabled have given her a voice that people find refreshing and funny.

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Question: “How many people with disabilities does it take to screw in a light bulb?”
Answer: “One to screw it in and 5 able-bodied people to say ‘You are such an inspiration!’”

That joke is one of Nina G’s favorites. She says it throws light on the struggle people with disabilities have in a society that reduces them to images of “inspirations” and “overcomers.”

Nina G is bring her act to the Bay Area, and will be performing April 1 and April 3 at the Pacific Pinball Museum, in Alameda.

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She said her show, ‘Going beyond Inspiration’ is an “intensely personal work,” that covers everything from her challenges in school, to advocacy, to finding her voice as a woman and a stand-up comedian.

This self-described comedian, social activist has even published a book in 2014 titled Once Upon an Accommodation: a book about Learning Disabilities. There’s nothing comic about its title but Nina G. says she needs that balance.

“There’s an ongoing struggle of tending to be preachy but wanting to be funny at the same time,” she said. “It’s especially important to utilize humor as a tool to open up dialogue, because people’s defensives are so high.”

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Nina G has no use for those taboos. Her life experiences go beyond fodder for punchlines. She hopes her one-woman show will somehow validate the disability experience and create a zone for a “teachable moment” for her audience, because “the disabled community is one of the few minority groups that people can join at absolutely any time in their life.”