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Disability Connection 200

Media Resources

Films and Videos about individuals with disabilities.

Oral History

Voices of Our Region preserves the life stories of individuals with disabilities living in Western Pennsylvania.


Being There 1979 (PG) Comedy/Drama
Chance, played by Peter Sellers, has worked as a gardener for the same man his whole life and has never left the estate where he works until his employer dies. His exchange with the outside world takes on great significance when his simple statements about gardening are interpreted to mean far greater meaning than initially intended.

Benny & Joon 1993 (PG)
Comedy Benny (Aiden Quinn) and Joon (Mary Stuart-Masterson) are brother and sister who long for a normal life. Joon has a cognitive disability and is tired from caring for her brother. Their lives change when Sam (Johnny Deep) arrives and brings a blend of whimsy and eccentricities.  
Children of a Lesser God 1987 ( R) Drama, A young teacher (William Hurt) befriends a young woman (Marley Matlin) at a school for the deaf. The movie chronicles the hardships that this young woman has experienced and lends a look at the deaf community.

Elephant Man 1980 (PG) Drama
A Victorian doctor played by Anthony Hopkins comes across a man catastrophically deformed with Proteous Syndrome.  
Mask 1985 (PG-13)
Drama about a young adult with facial skull deformity and his biker mother's attempt to live as normal as possible. The young man has the same hopes and dreams as his non-disabled peers.  
The Mighty 1998 (PG-13)
This movie is based on a great book, Freak the Mighty, by Rodman Philbrick. Eldren Ratliff plays Max, a young man with cognitive disabilities who has failed the eighth grade twice. His life changes when Kevin (Kieran Culkin), a brilliant kid who has Morquio's Syndrome, is assigned to work with him.  
Mr. Holland's Opus 1995 (PG-13)
Richard Dreyfuss, a high school music teacher, dreams of becoming a composer. He has a deaf son whose relationship with his father is turbulent. 

My Left Foot 1989 (PG-13)
True story, Daniel Day Lewis plays the part of a man,Christy Brown, who has spastic quadriplegic and can only control movements in his left foot. He learns through determination and the help of a teacher to overcome the chains of his disability and becomes a successful painter and poet.  
The Other Sister 1999 (PG) Romantic comedy
Juliet Lewis stars as 24 -year old Carla Tate, who has a developmental disability. After years of special schooling at a private boarding school, Carla stands up to her mother by getting her own apartment and falling in love. 
Rain Man 1988 (PG-13)
Dustin Hoffman plays a man who has Autism Spectrum Disorder and has savant talents. At first he is exploited by his brother (Tom Cruise), who later gains insight into his brother and his disability.  
Simon Birch 1998 (G) Drama
Simon is an 11 year-old boy who is small of stature but believes he is a giant in character and will surely be a hero. Simon sets out on a journey with his best friend to find his best friend's dad and themselves. Based loosely on a book by John Irving called A Prayer for Owen Meany. 
What's Eating Gilbert Grape 1993 (PG-13) Drama/comedy
Johnny Depp plays Gilbert Grape, a young man who works in a small grocery store. Gilbert's brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) has a developmental disability and spends a great deal of time with Gilbert and his friends. The movie provides a view of the community and how the community views Arnie.   

Instructional Videos

Together We're Better: A staff development kit for inclusion.
This three-part staff development series was filmed at a workshop done by Marsha Forest, Jack Pearpoint and Judith Snow in Chicago in 1992.

When Spider Webs Unite - Shafik in Action
This 37 minute video will keep the work and spirit of Shafik Asante alive for years to come. There is a Spider Webs Unite Pack with one video and one book.


Murderball (2005)
A film about quadriplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs - overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Real Rain Man, A Portrait of an Autistic Savant 1993 (G)
A documentary about one of the men Dustin Huffman portrays in Rain Man, Joe is seen as a composite character of the multi-faceted character in Rain Man.

When Billy Broke His Head and Other Tales of Wonder 1995 (PG-13)
A documentary about the life of Billy Globus a man whose life changes after an accident and a closed head injury.

Other Videos

All Ways Welcome 1993 (Rated G) Ontario Ministry of Tourism video on people with disabilities and there right for interaction with others and the right for choice of opportunity to participate in activities of their choosing.

Lasting Leadership 1997 (Rated G) Chris Burke hosts a look at popular education and self -advocacy the video is accompanied by a facilitator's guide.