Celebrating 30 Years of the ADA

All Abilities Virtual Film Festival 2020

Please join us from 7-8 pm on Sunday, July 26th for a virtual moderated live question and answer session about the groundbreaking documentary Crip Camp, including the film’s archival filmmaker and a former Camp Jened counselor.  Please email Mandy Levine at alevine@portlandmaine.gov to register and receive the link.

Official trailer found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRrIs22plz0: please watch the film on Netflix before July 26th!

Synopsis: down the road from Woodstock, a revolution blossomed in a ramshackle summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, transforming their lives and igniting a landmark movement.  “Crip Camp is both a gripping look at the history of the disability rights movement and a timely call to action, urging us to explore our own duty to fight for the dignity of all people.”  – President Barack Obama, Executive Producer.

Additional recommended films:

We might not be able to meet in person as planned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, but we encourage you to check out the below suggested list of movies (available on popular streaming services) that highlight the lives of individuals with disabilities.

A Normal Life — drama, Amazon (2018) 

  • A week away from leaving for college, Michael becomes concerned about his parents’ overprotective tendencies towards his younger brother, who has Down’s Syndrome. 

Asperger’s Are Us — documentary, comedy, drama, Netflix (2016) 

  • Four friends on the autism spectrum bond through humor and form a comedy troupe. They prepare for one final, ambitious show before going their separate ways. 

CinemAbility – the Art of Inclusion— documentary available for rent on Amazon (2018) 

  • A documentary investigation into the way that media portrayals of individuals with disabilities impact the societal inclusion of those with disabilities.  

Craig’s Reaction — documentary, Amazon (2018) 

  • Since a 100-foot fall in 2002 that took his right leg and left him with spinal injuries, Colorado climber Craig DeMartino has led a remarkable life, including the First Disabled and In-A-Day Ascents on El Capitan.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly — biographical drama, Hulu (2007) 

  • Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), editor-in-chief of French fashion bible Elle magazine, has a devastating stroke at age 43. The damage to his brain stem results in locked-in syndrome, with which he is almost completely paralyzed and only able to communicate by blinking an eye. Bauby painstakingly dictates his memoir via the only means of expression left to him.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot — Amazon (2018) 

  • After nearly dying in a car accident, the last thing Oregon slacker John Callahan intends to do is give up alcohol. Encouraged by his girlfriend and a charismatic sponsor, Callahan reluctantly enters a treatment program and discovers that he has a knack for drawing. The budding artist soon finds himself with a new lease on life when his edgy and irreverent newspaper cartoons gain a national and devoted following. 

The Fundamentals of Caring — comedy/drama, Netflix (2016) 

  • A writer (Paul Rudd) retires after a personal tragedy and becomes a disabled teen’s caregiver. When the two embark on an impromptu road trip, their ability to cope is tested as they start to understand the importance of hope and friendship. 

Intelligent Lives — documentary available for rent on Amazon (2018) 

  • Intelligent Lives 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. Actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional personal story of his son Jesse, as the film explores the record of intelligence testing in the U.S.

Life According to Sam — documentary, available for rent on Amazon (2013) 

  • After they learn that their only child has progeria, Drs. Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns set up a foundation and oversee the development of an experimental drug to treat the rare and fatal disease.

Lorenzo’s Oil — drama, Hulu (1992) 

  • True-life drama of a father and mother who battled against the odds to save their son’s life. Augusto and Michaela Odone are dealt a cruel blow by fate: five-year-old Lorenzo is diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease, but the Odones’ persistence and faith leads to the cure which saves their boy and re-writes medical history. 

Margarita With A Straw — drama, love story, Hulu (2014) 

  • A rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy leaves India to study in New York. On her journey of self-discovery, she unexpectedly falls in love. 

Mr. Holland’s Opus —drama, Hulu, available for rent on Amazon (1995) 

  • Composer Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) believes that he’ll eventually write a transcendent piece of music, but in the meantime he’s taken a job at an Oregon high school. Though at first the job frustrates him, and his unconventional methods often draw the ire of the straight-laced vice principal (W.H. Macy), Mr. Holland grows to love his students as the "temporary" position stretches into a decades-long career -- and in the end, they reveal just how much they love him back. 

My Left Foot — drama, Hulu (1989) 

  • Based on a true story, no one expects much from Christy Brown (Daniel Day-Lewis), a boy with cerebral palsy born into a working-class Irish family.  A miraculous event occurs when, at the age of 5, he demonstrates control of his left foot by using chalk to scrawl a word on the floor. With the help of his steely mother (Brenda Fricker) -- and no shortage of grit and determination -- Christy becomes a painter, poet and author. 

Soul Surfer — drama/sport, Netflix (2011) 

  • A natural talent in the sport of surfing, teenager Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) loses an arm in a shark attack. Bolstered by the love of her parents (Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid) and refusing to give up, she plans to return to competition, although questions about her future continue to trouble her. Upon seeing the devastation in Thailand caused by the 2004 tsunami, Bethany discovers a greater purpose: to make a difference in the lives of others. 

Sounds and Fury — documentary, Amazon (2000) 

  • Cousins Heather and Peter Artinian -- ages 6 and almost 2, respectively -- are deaf. Their condition could be changed by a cochlear implant, a device that stimulates hearing. This documentary explores their families’ conflict over whether to give their children cochlear implants that may improve their ability to hear but may threaten tehri Deaf identity.  

The Theory of Everything — drama/romance, Netflix (2014) 

  • In the 1960s, Cambridge University student and future physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) falls in love with fellow collegian Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). At 21, Hawking learns that he has motor neuron disease. Despite this -- and with Jane at his side -- he begins an ambitious study of time, of which he has very little left, according to his doctor. He and Jane defy terrible odds and break new ground in the fields of medicine and science, achieving more than either could hope to imagine. 

Unrest — documentary, Netflix (2017) 

  • Jennifer Brea’s Sundance award-winning documentary is a personal journey from patient to advocate to storyteller. Jennifer is twenty-eight years-old, working on her PhD at Harvard, and months away from marrying the love of her life when a mysterious fever leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her it’s "all in her head," she picks up her camera as an act of defiance and brings us into a hidden world of millions that medicine abandoned.

Wonder — comedy/drama, Hulu (2018) 

  • Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie Pullman becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. 

Artwork Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Passage of
the Americans With Disabilities Act

Artwork by Alana Korol


Complicated Spaces (of Invisible Disabilities)

Title of Work: The Complicated Spaces (of Invisible Disabilities)
Media: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 3 ft by 4 ft
Artist: Alana Korol, https://ajkorol5cdc.myportfolio.com/
Age: 21
Town : Buffalo Grove, IL

Artwork by Karen Perry, Portland, Maine

Alice Discovers Aphasia collageAlice Discovers Aphasia
Beach combing for my private beachBeach Combing for my Private Beach collage
My Disabled friends display their wares in Fashion Shows My Disabled Friends Display their Wares in Fashion Shows collage


Questions and answers with the artist, Karen Perry

How has the ADA positively impacted your life? 

I have to feel safe In Portland, Maine as a disabled woman therefore the ADA protects me.  It makes changes that every disabled person needs like safe sidewalks or walkways, easy access to public places, entrance & all doors, & bathroom availability.

What do you think the next 30 years will look like for individuals with disabilities?

Improvements in all areas as all people including the disabled work together to foster input in ADA’s mission.