Press Releases

Film challenges IQ testing, limits placed on people with intellectual disabilities

April 11, 2022

Montgomery County Down Syndrome Interest Group (MCDSIG) and the North Penn Parents Special Education Alliance (NPPSEA) to host a screening of the documentary INTELLIGENT LIVES on April 20, 2022 at Pennbrook Middle School

            North Wales, PA – The public is invited to the free viewing of INTELLIGENT LIVES, a documentary by award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib, from 6:30-8:00 pm on Wednesday, April 20 at Pennbrook Middle School Auditorium at 1201 N Wales Rd, North Wales, PA.

            INTELLIGENT LIVES stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.

             “People with intellectual disabilities are the most segregated of all Americans,” says Habib.  “Only 17 percent of students with intellectual disabilities are included in regular education. Just 40 percent will graduate from high school. And of the 6.5 million Americans with intellectual disability, barely 15 percent are employed.”

            According to data from the U.S. Census and the 2015 American Community Survey, about 10% of Montgomery County’s population lives with an intellectual disability. As of October 2019, there were 20,511 students with disabilities enrolled in Special Education. This  population makes up 12.4% of the County’s total school enrollment of 165,267 students.  Unemployment rates in 2019 for individuals with a disability were 11.7%, nearly three times as the rate for individuals without a disability (4%).

            INTELLIGENT LIVES is a catalyst to transform the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation into a life of possibility for the most systematically segregated people in America.

            Advance registration is strongly encouraged. Click here to register and learn more.

The Montgomery County Down Syndrome Interest Group of Pennsylvania (MCDSIG) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to support individuals with Down syndrome and their families from diagnosis to adulthood through education, advocacy, support, outreach, and social opportunities.

The North Penn Parents Special Education Alliance (NPPSEA) is aimed to connect parents and caregivers of children with learning and/or physical disabilities that have an IEP or 504 plan and receive special education across the North Penn School District.

Dan Habib is the creator of the award-winning documentary films Including SamuelWho Cares About Kelsey?Mr. Connolly Has ALS, and many other films. Habib is a filmmaker at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability. He uses his films to lead discussions about the challenges and benefits of inclusive education and disability rights at film festivals, schools, and conferences across the country and internationally. Including Samuel, about Habib’s son who has cerebral palsy, was broadcast nationally on public television stations in fall 2009 and was nominated for an Emmy in 2010. The film was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Good Morning America,” and the Washington Post. It has been translated into 17 languages and is used as a teaching tool worldwide. Who Cares About Kelsey? was broadcast nationally on public television in fall 2013. It has been featured in Education Week and has been screened at more than 300 events in every state and internationally. Mr. Connolly Has ALS was nominated for an International Documentary Association “Best Short” Award in 2017 and was broadcast nationally in 2018.