For a person with an intellectual disability, social communications and interactions can sometimes be limited or difficult. “We don’t always know how to get the feelings out,” says Alyssa Ruzzin, whose life is the focus of this film. Coping with the challenges of an intellectual disability compounded by epilepsy, she is an inspiring speaker and a forthright advocate for the rights of people with special needs. Over the course of this documentary filmed by her brother, viewers are given an opportunity to learn more about Alyssa’s rich interior life as well as her struggles and triumphs as she deals with going to work, being in a relationship, and other day-to-day activities. By opening up to Greg and his camera, Alyssa is hopeful that she “might be helping people realize what goes on in other people’s heads when they can’t speak about it.”
This program explores the different ways that disabilities can impact a teen’s life and how the general student population can support people with disabilities. Subjects covered include what a disability is; how to understand a disabled student; why those with disabilities are called “special”; showing respect and helping people with disabilities; and special education. A viewable/printable instructor’s guide is available online.
Actress Maryam d’Abo suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage in 2007. Her near-death experience inspired this film to be made with her husband filmmaker, Hugh Hudson who witnessed her illness. Maryam leads us on a personal journey of recovery, giving hope to those who are isolated by their condition. First-hand stories celebrate our will to survive and bring awareness of an unseen and unpredictable condition that is often misunderstood.
The issues surrounding attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, are fiercely debated. Who decides when rambunctious behavior has become a psychiatric concern? Do the benefits of Ritalin outweigh its risks? Is ADHD even a true disorder, or just another way for pharmaceutical companies to make money? This program speaks with students diagnosed with ADHD and to nearly a dozen medical and academic experts about its identification and treatment. Pediatrics professor William B. Carey believes that ADHD is being overdiagnosed, and Dr. William Pelham describes a successful treatment plan based on behavior modification—even as young people with ADHD praise the positive results of taking their meds. Other topics include genetic factors, medication risks, teachers as diagnosticians, and the centuries-long history of medicalizing hyperactivity.
This program shows viewers how to sign each letter of the alphabet, then demonstrates the signs for introductions and greetings, family members, rooms in the house, animals, and question forms. Segments of the video are displayed first without and then with text so that viewers can test their understanding, and a story section allows for assessment of comprehension of longer conversations. Part of the series American Sign Language.
This program challenges the preconception that being physically disabled necessarily means a lack of desire for physical intimacy. Through candid interviews with people who have substantial physical disabilities—cases involving paraplegia, quadriplegia, kyphoscoliosis, neuromuscular disorders, and other conditions—the video expresses their needs as human beings, examines constraints placed upon them by their conditions as well as by the medical and residential facilities that serve them, and spotlights high-minded organizations prepared to assist them in having loving experiences. Filmed in Europe, Disability and Sexuality offers insights into issues that transcend national boundaries and find common ground in the heart. Contains mature themes and clinically explicit language.
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