Education is a basic human right and a threshold right that enables the realization of all others. Because education is also the first civic arena where people test their rights and responsibilities as citizens, meaningful inclusion of all learners in quality education sets the stage for open society. Following long-term advocacy, great progress has been made in the area of inclusive education, but there is still much work to be done.
Learners with differences framed as intellectual disabilities or developmental delays are often the last to realize the right to education in their own community’s schools with their peers. These students are often defined by the results of intelligence tests, and they too often face barriers of discrimination in education that can be insurmountable.
Intelligent Lives recounts the lives of three pioneering young adults with intellectual disabilities who challenge perceptions of intelligences as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. The film focuses on ongoing intelligence testing practices in the United States and questions their ability to assess children’s capabilities.
Dan Habib, director of Intelligent Lives, joined Open Society for a Q&A following the screening.
- Dan Habib, a filmmaker at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, is the director and producer of Intelligent Lives, as well as of award-winning documentaries including Including Samuel, Who Cares About Kelsey?, and Mr. Connolly Has ALS.
- Kate Lapham (moderator) is the deputy director of the Open Society Education Support Program, focusing on overcoming barriers to education for communities facing exclusion or discrimination.