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Disability Inclusion Week 2020

Disability Awareness online exhibit 2020

Disability Awareness Week 2020: Streaming Media

Netflix offers a number of comedies, dramas, documentaries, series, and films on disability culture and the experiences of people with disabilities. You need to have a Netflix subscription  to watch these. Trailers (from YouTube) for a few of these titles are highlighted below; films / series include closed captions.


Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020)

"Down the road from Woodstock, a revolution blossomed at a ramshackle summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, transforming their lives and igniting a landmark movement."  Duration: 1 hour 48 min. 


Deaf U (2020)

"In this reality series, a tight-knit group of Deaf and hard of hearing students share their stories and explore life at Gallaudet University." (Summary by Netflix)  Season 1 consists of 8 episodes. Duration: Each episode is approx. 20 min.


Love on the Spectrum (2020) 

"A five-part documentary series following young adults on the autism spectrum as they explore the unpredictable world of love, dating and relationships."  Duration: Each episode approx. 45 min.


Notes on Blindness (2016)

"In the summer of 1983, just days before the birth of his first son, writer and theologian John Hull went blind. In order to make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began keeping a diary on audiocassette. Upon their publication in 1990, Oliver Sacks described the work as 'the most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read. It is to my mind a masterpiece.' With exclusive access to these original recordings, NOTES ON BLINDNESS encompasses dreams, memory and imaginative life, excavating the interior world of blindness."  Duration: 1 hour 26 min.


Rising Phoenix (2020)

"Elite athletes and insiders reflect on the Paralympic Games and examine how they impact a global understanding of disability, diversity and excellence." (Summary by Netflix)  Duration: 1 hour 46 min.


Special (2019)

"In this comedy series, a young gay man with cerebral palsy branches out from his insular existence in hopes of finally going after the life he wants." (Summary by Netflix)  Season 1 has 8 episodes. Duration: Each episode is approx. 15 min.


The Theory of Everything (2014)

"As his esteem grows in the field of physics, Stephen Hawkings' body is ravaged by ALS, forcing his increasing dependence on his devoted wife, Jane." (Summary by Netflix)  Duration: 2 hours 3 min.


Other Netflix films & series with creators, actors, themes related to people with disabilities:
  • Aspergers are Us
  • Atypical
  • A Silent Voice
  • Brain on Fire
  • Frida
  • Hush
  • Justine
  • Kiss & Cry
  • Miracle in Cell #7
  • My Beautiful Broken Brain
  • Never Have I Ever
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Take Your Pill
  • Walk, Ride, Rodeo

ISU Library subscribes to Kanopy, a vast and eclectic collection of documentaries and feature films. Strong focus on educational resources, social, political, and cultural issues, and numerous international film classics. Here are a number of Kanopy's titles with creators, actors, stories, and themes related to people with disabilities.


Defiant Lives 

"A triumphant film that traces the origins of the world-wide disability rights movement. It tells the stories of the individuals who bravely put their lives on the line to create a better world where everyone is valued and can participate. Featuring interviews and rarely seen archival footage, the film reveals how these activists fought to live outside of institutions, challenged the stigmas and negative image of disability portrayed by the media, demanded access to public transportation, and battled to reframe disability rights as a social responsibility relevant to us all. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Vigo Inclusion Film Festival. Official Selection at the Sydney Film Festival."  (Description from Kanopy)  Duration: 85 minutes


Do You Dream in Color?

"An enlightening and poignant coming of age story that follows the journeys of four courageous blind teenagers as they strive to achieve their dreams: to be a sponsored skateboarder, travel the world, become a rock star and be the first family member to graduate. Their stories shine a proactive light on the social and institutional obstacles faced by people who are blind and what it takes to surmount those barriers." (Summary from Kanopy) Duration: 76 minutes


Intelligent Lives

"This documentary stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities - Micah, Naieer, and Naomie - who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional personal story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S. The documentary challenges what it means to be intelligent, and points to a future in which people of all abilities can fully participate in higher education, meaningful employment and intimate relationships." (Summary from Kanopy) Duration: 71 minutes


Her Name is Sabine

"An intelligent, moving and beautiful portrait of Sabine, a 38-year-old woman with autism, filmed by her sister, the famous French actress Sandrine Bonnaire. Through personal footage filmed over a period of 25 years, it is revealed that Sabine's growth and many talents were crushed by improper diagnosis and an inadequate care structure. After a tragic five-year stay in a psychiatric hospital, Sabine finally finds a new lease on life in a home together with other young people living with similar mental and emotional illnesses. This very intimate film also sends an urgent message to a society that still does not know how to properly take care of its citizens with physical and psychological disabilities."  Duration: 86 minutes


Normal People Scare Me

"Released in 2006, Normal People Scare Me has made its way around the world on a mother and son speaking and screening tour. The film was conceived by Taylor Cross -- an aspiring filmmaker with autism -- when he was 15. Co-created by Taylor and his mother, disabilities advocate and expert, Keri Bowers, the film has been a critical success throughout the world since its release. In the film, Cross offers a quirky and refreshing interview style as he asks questions including: "Do you like being autistic?"; "What do you want to be when you grow up?"; and Have you been teased? Interviews with over 65 individuals offer powerful, poignant insight to the joys and sorrows behind the faces and mysteries of autism." This film crosses over and bridges those with disabilities and those without."  Duration: 93 minutes 


Sins Invalid: An Unashamed Claim to Beauty

This version of the film includes Audio Description. "Sins Invalid witnesses a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists. Since 2006, its performances have explored themes of sexuality, beauty, and the disabled body, impacting thousands through live performance. Sins Invalid is as an entryway into the absurdly taboo topic of sexuality and disability, manifesting a new paradigm of disability justice." (Summary by Kanopy) Duration: 33 minutes


Who Am I to Stop It

This version of the film includes Audio Description. "A documentary film on isolation, art, and transformation after brain injury made by a filmmaker with disabilities from brain injury. It follows three artists as they navigate social isolation, stigma, and rebuilding their identities. They practice the arts to re-connect to their own sense of self-pride and to their larger communities. Rather than emphasize how people got injured or highlight medical aspects of disability, we explore consequences of internalized ableism and the ways in which many brain injury survivors feel they are not accommodated or understood. Through visual arts, music, and sharing their stories, the subjects explore questions around poverty, sexuality, faith, family, success, and community. This film contains mature themes and adult language."  Duration: 87 minutes