Disability Film Challenge

Winners have been announced for the inaugural Disability Film Challenge. The 48 hour competition gave participants just two days to complete production of a short film on the topic of disability. The purpose was to incorporate more disabled film makers, writers, directors and actors into the business. The winners are as follows:

Best Film – “Hands Down” by John Lawson

Best Filmmaker – “Wheelz”

Best Actor – Rachel Handler, “Disabilidates”

The winning films will screen at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood during the HollyShorts Film Festival, August 14-23.

Schneider Family Book Awards Announced

The Schneider Family Book Awards honoring books that highlight the disability experience were announced this week along with the renowned Caldecott and Newbery awards for children’s literature by the American Library Association. The awards are given to authors and illustrators in three different categories “for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” This year’s winners included stories about an artist wounded while serving in World War I, a princess with a foot deformity who helps chase dragons and a courageous American pilot who is captured by Nazis and sent to a concentration camp.

2014 Winners:

Young children’s book: “A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin,” written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Middle grades book: “Handbook for Dragon Slayers,” written by Merrie Haskell

Teen book: “Rose Under Fire,” written by Elizabeth Wein

The Schneider Family Book Awards are supported by Katherine Schneider, who also funds the Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability through a grant administered by the National Center on Disability Reporting.


Actors With Disabilities In Big Roles? ‘We Don’t Have A Chance’

Actors with disabilities are often passed over for lead roles, even when the character actually has a disability, according to this Code Switch blog from NPR.

Frustrated actors and other players in the industry complain this is a major Catch-22, keeping them out of jobs and, as a result, keeping an honest portrayal of people with disabilities from audiences. Take, for example, the new remake of “Ironside” which premiered this week on NBC. In both the 1960s version starring Raymond Burr and the modern version with Blair Underwood, the lead is a paraplegic detective. Also in both versions, neither Burr nor Underwood were/are disabled. Read more.

The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press

ArtPrize artists with disabilities: Words fail her, but art doesn’t

Elaine Hoogeboom takes a deep breath before she starts to talk about her art.
She knows what she wants to say. But she has aphasia, a disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. It’s hard for her to remember words, put together sentences and understand what people have told her.