Millersville University is shining a light on the disability rights movement through the 10th annual Disability Film Festival. The festival features three films throughout February and March.
Dr. Thomas Neuville, professor of education and faculty administrator of integrated studies, explains why the film festival is important to hold. “Change begins within, and awareness and consciousness is the spark of that change. Neuville explains that these films, “ “Elevate the voices of those made invisible or marginalized.”
Earlier this month, ”Chained for Life” by Aaron Schimberg and “I Didn’t See You There” by Reid Davenport were viewed.
- The final film is on March 21 at 6 p.m. in the McComsey Meyers Auditorium. “Disability Road Map,” a Dan & Samuel Habib Production, dives into the life of Samuel Habib, 21, who wants to date, leave home and go to college. But he drives a 350-pound wheelchair, uses a communication device and can have a seizure at any moment. Determined to find his path forward, he seeks out guidance from America’s most rebellious disability activists. Will they empower him to launch the bold adult life he craves?
Neuville explains the importance of holding the festival at MU, “The films inform, entertain and cause University community conversations. Causing university dialogue is important and begins with an inspired learning community aimed at changing the world. Millersville University is not an isolated community, it draws its strength and uniqueness from the surrounding communities and cultures. When viewers from the region attend films at the DFF, a connection is made that sparks a difference and remains after everyone has gone home. The resultant impact on the post-screening discussions enhances the likelihood of change. Change is not founded on pity or charity. A change based on one’s own ableist biases and strengthened by individual voices not before heard.”
As the festival concludes in March, it gives way to celebrating National Developmental Disability Awareness Month.
Millersville University has earned national recognition for including students with developmental disabilities as fully inclusive partners in the journey of learning.
The DFF is a community collaboration supported by the office of the Provost and university stakeholders such as The Presidents Commission on Cultural Diversity and Inclusion, PA Inclusive Higher Education Consortium, MU Office of Visual and Preforming Arts, MU Learning Institute, MU ADAPT (student organization), Integrated Studies, and other supporters.
The screenings are free to attend and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Thomas Neuville at Thomas.Neuville@millersville.edu.