$200,000 Grant From Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Supports New Film by Dan Habib

Intelligent Lives

This winter, the IOD received a $200,000 grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation to support Dan Habib’s new film project, Intelligent Lives (working title).

The Intelligent LivesProject will include a feature-length, internationally distributed documentary examining how the segregation of people with intellectual disabilities became the norm, why this segregation is slowly being dismantled, and how some people with intellectual disabilities are blazing bold new paths. Habib is also creating a 30-minute companion film focusing specifically on youth with disabilities transitioning from high school to employment and higher education.

The project, anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2017, will include extensive outreach and education tools, as well as screenings and discussions across the country.

“Perceptions of intelligence affect every opportunity for people with disabilities, from inclusion in general education, to access to higher education and the workforce,” Habib says. “The support from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation is a huge boost as this project examines a central question: Can any attempt to measure intelligence predict a person’s value or potential to contribute meaningfully to the world?”

“Intelligent Lives challenges outdated notions of ‘intelligence’ by demonstrating the unique abilities every individual possesses,” says Kevin R. Webb, Senior Director of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. “As an organization dedicated to empowering youth with disabilities to lead productive lives, the Foundation is proud to be a lead supporter of this endeavor.”

You can learn more about Intelligent Lives, get information about upcoming previews and events, view a full list of supporters and partners, and watch a 14-minute preview featuring Academy Award winning actor Chris Cooper at the Intelligent Lives website.

Dan Habib is the creator of the award-winning documentary films Including Samuel, Who Cares About Kelsey?, and Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories. Habib screens his films across the country and leads discussions about the challenges and benefits of inclusive education and related topics. Habib delivered a TEDx talk entitled Disabling Segregation, and received the Justice for All Grassroots Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities. In 2014, Habib was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities—a committee that promotes policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.