Disability Perspectives - A Film Series

Project: Disability Perspectives: A Film Series

Team: William Budding, Erich Manser, Kurt Mueller, and Dorian Meyette 

Mission: Disability is an often overlooked, misunderstood, and underdiscussed aspect of diversity, equity, and inclusion. An estimated 20% of the Harvard community would identify as having a disability of some kind. The exact number is unknown because many individuals do not feel comfortable disclosing their disability. Disability also intersects with race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomics.  Some disabilities are visible and apparent; others (e.g. learning disabilities, mental health) are invisible. 
Much like other marginalized groups, we know through research that barriers can be broken down through education and information and by having open and honest dialogue to share lived experiences and to challenge our own biases. To that end, we will be offering a moderated film series that offers real-life perspectives on disability, identity, access, and inclusion. 
The first two films will be mainstream media films followed by an interactive dialogue session (“book-club-style”). The final film in the series will be of our own creation and will showcase employees from the Harvard community. We will elicit vlog-style vignettes from employees with disabilities to portray a “day in the life” from their perspective.  Vignettes will identify barriers to access and celebrate accommodations and employee success.  This final short film will be edited, captioned, and shown at the conclusion of the project along with a live panel discussion.  The final presentation will create a space for interactive discussion on takeaways from the films and next steps on how to continue the work of accessibility and inclusion at Harvard. Disability inclusion thought leaders and experts from Harvard will be invited join this culminating event.