Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NH Charitable Foundation Grant Brings Film "Including Samuel" To Schools

[Received this press release from the University of New Hampshire.]

The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire has received a $25,000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to support free screenings of the film "Including Samuel" to schools throughout New Hampshire. The grant will enable Dan Habib, filmmaker in residence at the IOD and creator of "Including Samuel," to bring the film to ten New Hampshire districts this school year. Schools can apply for a free screening at www.iod.unh.edu.

The grant will also support additional screenings for New Hampshire parents, health care professionals, self-advocates and policy makers, plus distribution of free copies of the "Including Samuel" educational DVD.

Before his son Samuel was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Habib rarely thought about the educational inclusion of people with disabilities. Now he thinks about inclusion every day. Habib's award-winning 2008 documentary "Including Samuel" chronicles the Habib family's efforts to include Samuel in every facet of their lives. The film honestly portrays his family's hopes and struggles as well as the experiences of four other individuals with disabilities and their families. "Including Samuel" is a highly personal film that captures the cultural and systemic barriers to inclusion in schools.

"Dan Habib is a gifted artist exploring the multilayered stories of people with disabilities, their families, friends and teachers," said Jennifer Hopkins, director of grantmaking at the Charitable Foundation. "We were pleased to support the development of this extraordinary film and now to make it available to schools across the state."

"Including Samuel" has been screened at universities, national conferences, film festivals and independent theatres across the country. The film has also been featured on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and Good Morning America NOW, as well as in the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. Exceptional Parent Magazine called it a "must see" film.

These screenings are part of the IOD's Including Samuel Project, a program that leverages the IOD's expertise and Habib's documentary as resources to promote greater acceptance and inclusion of children with disabilities in schools and communities. Habib left the Concord Monitor in April to join the IOD and direct the Including Samuel Project.

For more information on the Institute on Disability and the film "Including Samuel," please visit www.iod.unh.edu.