Lives Worth Living | Documentary about Disability Rights Movement | Independent Lens (2011)

Information about this Resource

This PBS documentary uses first person narratives and rare archival footage to trace the history of the disability rights movement. It accurately documents the historical dehumanization of disabled people in institutions such as Willowbrook State School. The disability activism initiated by post-WWII disabled veterans who would not accept institutionalization and discrimination, the strategic formation of cross-disability coalitions, and the assertive use of civil disobedience tactics by disabled persons in the late 1960s and early 1970s are vividly portrayed. The documentation of the decades-long fight for equal access to all that is available to the non-disabled culminates with the Congress’ passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The film concludes with the President Bush signing the ADA with most of the activists who fiercely worked to attain the rights afforded by the ADA present.

How to Access

Click here to access an informational webpage with links to the trailer. The documentary can be viewed through the PBS video app, which can be downloaded from the webpage.