On Thursday, October 27, PBS will air the newest segment of its Independent Lens series, entitled Lives Worth Living. This documentary series will profile the struggle for civil rights endured by millions of Americans with disabilities. It begins in the early years after World War II, when thousands of veterans with disabilities came home to find that they no longer had the access and mobility that they took for granted. The documentary follows the advancement of rights for people with disabilities, focusing on the social movement and eventual legislation, such as the monumental Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The documentary features several people prominent in the fight for rights for people with disabilities. They include Fred Fay, an early leader of the movement in the years following World War II; Pat Wright of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund; Judy Heumann, leading disability rights activist and Senator Tom Harkin who is still working to improve the rights of people with disabilities from the Senate floor. The film commemorates the progress that has been made in the field as people with physical and mental challenges came together over the years to ensure that millions of Americans were not without their due civil rights.
The film’s director and producer, Eric Neudel, has directed many award winning films and documentaries for public television. In addition to serving as a visiting senior critic and lecturer in film at Yale University, he has also served as producer, director, and editor for Harvard University’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, and Spectrum Media’s program series on the art and craft of teaching. As his most recent work Lives Worth Living comes to us as part of the Independent Lens series which airs on PBS on Tuesdays at 10 PM. Independent Lens features creative, compelling and artistically driven independent documentaries and films that focus on unforgettable stories from significant moments and movements in history.
To learn more about the film, and the issues involved, visit the film’s companion website at www.pbs.org/independentlens/.
Lives Worth Living airs on Thursday, October 27.