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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students discover ability in disability film screening

    When Disability History Week kicked off with a film screening Monday night, it did so with more than just a purpose of informing students, but rather delved into false notions about the ability within a life of disability.

    The main feature, “”How’s Your News,”” gave audience members a look at how people with mental and physical challenges interact with the world around them.

    Education senior Eve Hampton said she enjoyed the movie and the twist on disability it portrayed. It’s difficult for people with disabilities to be viewed as normal people, she said.

    Telling stories of the way people have treated her, Hampton said she feels as if salespeople think she’s a secret shopper – at least, she likes to think that’s why they try to give her special treatment.

    Disability Resource Center access consultant Meghan Sooy spoke of her days at Pennsylvania State University, where she said there were only three other people with disabilities.

    “”Everybody assumed we must be friends with everyone else in a wheelchair,”” she said.

    Both Hampton and Sooy spoke of people who would come up to them and start pushing their wheelchairs, as if they needed extra help. The two women said they become somewhat frustrated when they assure others that they are okay, and they still insist on pushing them.

    Jen Ludwig, a Disability History Week organizer, said she hopes the week will help identify “”where we are, where we’ve been and where we hope to be.”” She also hopes the week will allow students to “”look at disabilities along the continuum as a social identity.””

    Referring to both the film and the real world, Ludwig said, “”I think a lot of people underestimate individuals with disabilities.””

    The movie followed five people with mental and physical challenges from New Hampshire to California. Traveling by RV and later by Greyhound bus, the five individuals each interviewed people across the country for their news show, “”How’s Your News?””

    Especially interesting was the way people interacted with the five reporters. Some people seemed eager to talk to them while others simply walked on by.

    For some audience members, seeing the film brought to mind interactions they’ve had involving mentally and physically challenged people.

    Sooy said the movie made her think of her own life, and different parts of the movie resonated with her personally.

    Hampton offered some optimism, as she said that although “”people do underestimate what the capabilities are of people with disabilities,”” those attitudes change when a person gets to know someone on a personal basis.

    The disability resources offered at the UA are “”superior to any other school,”” said Hampton, citing them as one of the reasons she came to the university.

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