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Human Services

Posted on: June 3, 2019

Caregiver film series challenges intellectual disability label

Intellectual disabilities know no boundaries. They touch the lives of people from all racial, ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds. Many people with an intellectual disability lead full, rewarding, and contributing lives. Many find themselves pushed to the margins of our society. Almost all encounter prejudice, bullying, insensitive treatment, discrimination or abuse at some point in their lives.

Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources is offering another film in our caregiving series – “Intelligent Lives.” Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of three central characters through the emotional story of his son Jesse. This 2018 documentary is often viewed as the catalyst that will transform the intellectual disability label from a life of isolation to a life of possibility.

“Intelligent Lives” will show on Saturday, June 8, at the Grand Cinema, located at 606 Fawcett Ave., in Tacoma. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and the film begins at 10:45 a.m. Attendees will enjoy complimentary popcorn. Admission is free, but guests must reserve their tickets online or by calling the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 253-798-4600.  

“We know from history how flawed labels can be,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “Treatment and perceptions of what we call a disability has undergone transformation since the 1900’s. This has happened largely because people with disabilities have demanded and created those changes. The watershed moment happened with the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. “Intelligent Lives” shows how three young individuals move to take their rightful place in society.”

Intellectual Disability (ID) is a term used when a person has certain limitations in cognitive functioning, including communication, social and self-care skills. These limitations can cause an individual to develop and learn differently. Intellectual disability can happen any time before a child turns 18 years old, even before birth. 

Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources offers this film as part of our Family Caregiver Support Program. The program helps unpaid family caregivers with a variety of supports including education, counseling, adaptive equipment, cleaning services and respite care. People can learn more about the program by calling the ADRC at 253-798-4600. 

Bob Riler, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources
[email protected]

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