New Documentary on “Hidden” Dis/Ability

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There is a new documentary out by and about people with traumatic brain injuries called Brain Injury Dialogues. From what I have seen, it seems like a good teaching tool for expanding the discourse surrounding ability. The documentary tells the story of several people with TBIs as well as the types of support available and coping skill development they need, while also highlighting how certain aspects of their lives/thinking are impaired in ways that other people excuse, minimize, or otherwise fail to recognize. It also points out how the divides between hidden and visible may be keeping people with TBIs from receiving needed services and developing needed skills and support networks to thrive. It also discusses the import of disability rights activism for shifting the way differently-abled people see and advocate for themselves and how people with TBIs fight into this activism community.

For me, the documentary represents an important entry point for talking about what it means to move from able-bodied to differently-abled and to understanding the nuances of hidden disabilites which are assumed to be easier to cope with because of an ability to access able-bodied privilege but in fact are hard in a different way because the lack of recognition or the willingness to ascribe personality or social problems rather than physical and mental issues to people with hidden disabilities impedes them in similarly disabling ways. It also sheds light on a growing population in the differently-abled community that remains largely underserved by both mental health services and disability services, especially on college campuses in the U.S.

The Documentary is on sale now for $25 and can be bought here.

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