While there are over 54 million Americans living with disabilities, Lives Worth Living is the first television history of their decades-long struggle for equal rights. Lives Worth Living is a window into a world inhabited by people with an unwavering determination to live their lives like everyone else, and a look back into a past when millions of Americans lived without access to schools, employment, apartment buildings, and public transportation – a way of life unimaginable today.
Lives Worth Living premieres on the Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 10 pm (check local listings) to coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Lives Worth Living traces the development of the disability rights movement from its beginning following World War II, when thousands of disabled veterans returned home, through its burgeoning in the 1960s and 1970s, when it began to adopt the tactics of other social movements. Told through interviews with the movement’s pioneers, legislators, and others, Lives Worth Living explores how Americans with a wide variety of disabilities — including blind, deaf, physical, intellectual
and psychiatric — banded together to change public perception and policy. Through demonstrations and legislative battles, the disability rights community finally secured equal civil rights with the 1990 passage and signing into law of the Americans with Disabilities Act, one of the most transformative pieces of civil rights legislation in American history.
To learn more about the film, and the issues involved, visit the film’s companion website at www.pbs.org/independentlens. Get detailed information on the film, watch preview clips, read an interview with the filmmaker, and explore the subject in depth with links and resources.
This film is for everyone with and without – disabilities. We encourage students to watch and discuss in school; employees to watch (with their Employee Resource Groups); families to experience it with friends.