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The Stories of Those with Disabilities

~ Media Resources ~ 

 

As a Speech-language pathologist (SLP), I've always loved hearing interviews, reading biographies, and watching movies in which people tell their stories, particularly those diagnosed with a communication disorder. Mass media provides a mechanism for us to tell our stories. It allows us to step inside someone else's shoes, to better understand their world through their experiences. No two stories are alike. While media can't fully capture and convey the complexities of someone's experience, it offers viewers and readers a momentary glimpse. It provides new perspectives and considerations.

 

When we understand the plight of others, we become more invested in making the world a better and more accessible place for everyone. The King's Speech, for example, inspired a generation of new SLPs. These stories allow us to unravel the complexities of the human condition, for we have more in common than that which sets us apart. In an interview on Nightline, Minnie Driver from the tv show Speechless, said it best. 

 

"It's difficult for us to be told, 'look at this differently.' So what you do is make people laugh, and see them, and have them observe a family that lives like this. And then maybe their interaction with someone who uses a wheelchair on the street is different."

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, check out these movies, documentaries, television shows, radio programs, video clips, children's books, biographies, and more.

Acceptance, Diversity, & Inclusion:

Disabilities in the Media (Video Clip

Disability Representation in Literature (Video Clip

Sesame Street: Billy Joel and Marlee Matlin Sing Just The Way You Are (TV Series

Sesame Street: Gina Explains Service Dogs (TV Show

Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond between a Soldier and His Service Dog by Luis Carlos Montalvan (Children’s Book) 

Sesame Street: Empathy (TV Show

UNICEF: Disability and Child Protection (Public Health Campaign Video)

Disability: How You See Me (Public Health Campaign Video

What Is Inclusion (Video

Cultivate Inclusion (Video

Dr. Seuss’ Sneetches on the Beaches (Video

Disability Awareness (Film

My Dad Matthew (Short Documentary

Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley (Poem

Ally the Accepting Alligator by Kameron Trumbo and Fanny Liem (Children’s Book)

The Five of Us by Quentin Blake (Children’s Book)

Cinemability (Documentary Film

The Doctor (Film)

Nelson Beats the Odds by Ronnie Sidney II (Children's Book)

I’m Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much by Stella Young (TED Talk

Sesame Street: Will.i.am Sings “What I Am” (TV Series

Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell (Children’s Book)

It’s Hard to be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel by Jamie Lee Curtis (Children’s Book)

I’m Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem by Jamie Lee Curtis (Children’s Book)

Disabling segregation: Dan Habib (TEDx

The Wish by Tara McCarton (Children’s Book)

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon (Book)

Far From the Tree (Documentary Film)

Ian (Short Film)

Erste Christmas Ad 2018: What would Christmas be without love? (Ad)

Nike (Ad)

The Employables (TV Series)

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger (Children's Book)

Anatomy & Physiology: How We Hear, Speak, & Think

Brain:

Map of the Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin (Audio News Story)

Parts of the Brain – Pinky and the Brain (Video)

Left Brain Talks to the Right Hand (Audio News Story)

Violinist Plays During DBS Surgery (Video)

ER (TV Series), “Piece of Mind” (Season 7, Episode 10) Mapping Broca’s Area

 

Hearing:

How the Ear Hears (Video)

How Your Ear Works – BBC (Video)

Journey of Sound to the Brain (Video)

Language Production:

The Birth of a Word by Deb Roy (TED Talk)

My Mouth Is a Volcano! By Julia Cook (Children’s Book)

The Word Collector by Sonja Wimmer (Children’s Book)

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds (Children’s Book)

The Great Dictionary Caper by Judy Sierra (Children’s Book)

Respiration and Phonation:

Anatomical Tutorial During Trans-Nasal Endoscopy (Video)

Laryngeal Movements (Video)

A Child’s Throat (Video)

Normal Physiology-Respiration and Swallow Pass Muir Valve (Video)

3D View of Diaphragm – Respiration (Video)

Respiration 3D Medical Animation (Video)

Christopher Reeve’s Interview with Barbara Walters (Video)

Speech Production:

From Grunting to Gabbing: Why Humans Can Talk (Audio News Story)

Sounds of Speech – Interactive Illustrations of English Sounds (Step-by-step Illustrations)

Oral Mechanism Exam for Speech Language Pathology (Video)

Process of Phonation (Video)

ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease:

The Theory of Everything (Film

Pride of the Yankees (Film

You’re Not You (Film

Tuesdays with Morrie (Film

Gleason (Documentary Film

I Am Breathing (Documentary Film

TransFatty Lives: Trailer (Documentary Film

Jason Becker Not Dead Yet (Documentary Film

Breadth of Hope (Documentary Film

Running for Jim (Documentary Film

So Much So Fast (Documentary Film

The Big Idea My Brother Inspired by Jamie Heywood (TED Talk)

ALS Hasn’t One – ALS ONE! By Kevin Gosnell (TED Talk

Meet the Mom Who Started the Ice Bucket Challenge by Nancy Frates (TED Talk

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia:

Still Alice by Lisa Genova () 

Still Alice (Film

Call the Midwife (TV Series

Grey’s Anatomy (TV Series)

The Notebook (Film

The Caregiver: A Life with Alzheimer’s by Aaron Alterra (Book)

What They Had (Film)

Articulation and Speech Sound Disorders:

Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger (Children’s Book)

Wodney Wat’s Wobot by Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger (Children’s Book)

Taking Speech Disorders to School by John E. Bryant (Children's Book)

The Princess Bride (Film

Big Bang Theory (TV Series

The Little Couple (Reality TV Series)  

Sesame Street (TV Series

Tweety Bird (Cartoon

Daffy Duck (Cartoon

Elmer Fudd (Cartoon

Sylvester (Cartoon

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: 

Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer (Children’s Book)

Marvin’s Monster Diary: ADHD Attacks! (But I Rock It, Big Time): An ST4 Mindfulness Book for Kids

   by Raun Melmed and Annette Sexton

Nelson Beats the Odds by Ronnie Sidney II (Children's Book)

What Were You Thinking?: Learning to Control Impulses (Executive Function) by Bryan Smith (Children’s Book)

The Classroom Mystery: A Book about ADHD by Tracy Packiam Alloway (Children's Book)

Baxter Turns Down His Buzz: A Story for Little Kids About ADHD by James M. Foley (Children's Book)

Cory Stories: A Kid's Book about Living with ADHD by Jeanne Kraus (Children's Book)

The Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD by John F. Taylor (Children's Book)

Mrs. Gorski I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets (The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses by Barbara Esham (Children's Book)

Auditory Impairment, Deafness, & Sign Language:

Mr. Holland’s Opus (Film)

Retropod: The Deaf Men who Helped NASA Send Humans to Space (Podcast)

Taking Hearing Impairment to School by Elaine Ernst Schneider (Children's Book)

Deaf Jam: Experiencing Music Through a Cochlear Implant (Audio News Story)

Sound and Fury: Deaf Documentary (Film)

Children of a Lesser God (Film)

Sue Thomas, F.B.Eye (TV Series

Sesame Street: Linda (TV Series

Sesame Street: Evelyn Glennie Plays the Drums (TV Series

Sesame Street: Billy Joel and Marlee Matlin Sing Just the Way You Are (TV Series

Moses Goes to a Concert by Isaac Millman (Children’s Book) 

Call the Midwife (TV Series) Series 4, “Episode 8”

The Silent Child (Film

The Court Jester (Film, 1956) 

The Miracle Worker (Film

See No Evil, Hear No Evil (Film

Switched at Birth (TV Series

ER (TV Series

Miracle on 34thStreet (Film,1994) 

Miami Medical (TV Series

Hear and Now (Documentary Film

Dancing with the Stars (Reality TV Series; Interview

A Quiet Place (Film

Wonderstruck (Film

The Family Stone (Film

Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter (Documentary Film) 

Take Shelter (Film)

It's A Wonderful Life (Film)

Making Connections: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children Learn at School with SLP and Audiology (PSA Video)

Soul to Keep (Film) - Lead character is deaf, written by a speech-language pathologist

Augmentative and Alternative Communication & Assistive Technology:

Bed Number Ten by Sue Baier and Mary Zimmeth Schomaker (Book)

New Voices for the Voiceless: Synthetic Speech Gets an Upgrade (Audio News Story)

Speechless (TV Series

The Theory of Everything (Film

Schuyler’s Monster: A Father’s Journey with His Wordless Daughter by Robert Rummel-Hudson (Book)

3 lbs (TV Series) Season 1, “Lost for Words”

Making Connections: Augmentative and Alternative Communication and the SLP (PSA Video)

Autism Spectrum Disorders and Social Skills:

Carly’s Café - Experience Autism Through Carly’s Eyes (Video

In Plain Sight (TV Series) Season 3, "Her Days are Numbered"

Face Value by Dave Kot (Comic Book)

StoryCorps Q&A – Asperger’s Interview (Video)

Max and Mary (Film)

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca and Daniel Rieley (Book)

Temple Grandin (HBO Film)

What It’s Like to Have a Brother with Autism (Video

Taking Autism to School by Andreanna Edwards (Children's Book)

Rain Man (Film)

The A Word (TV Series)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (Book)

Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin (Book)

The Good Doctor (TV Series

Parenthood (TV Series

Sesame Street: Meet Julia (TV Series

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion (Book)

Sesame Street and Autism (TV Series – Public Health Campaign Video)

Temple Grandin: What It Feels Like to be Autistic (Video

Neurotypical (Documentary Film

Look Me In the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison (Book)

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova (Book)

Dinosaur Train (TV Series

How Autism Freed Me To Be Myself by Rosie King (TED Talk

Just Like You (Documentary Film

The Party: A Virtual Experience of Autism (360 Film

Autism Simulator (Video Game

Private Practice (TV Series

I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism (A First Look At…Series) By Pat Thomas (Children’s Book)

A Friend Like Simon by Kate Gaynor (Children’s Book)

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida (Book)

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer (Children’s Book)

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison (Book)

Russell Is Extra Special: A Book About Autism for Children by Charles A. Amenta III (Children’s Book)

The Accountant (Film)

Atypical (TV Series

The Art of Autism - Understanding the Spectrum (Comic Strip)

Arthur (TV Series)

DAD... a film about Autism and Fatherhood (Documentary Film)

Lucas the Spider: Don't Eat Me (YouTube Clip)

Making Connections: SLPs Help Children with Autism to Communicate (PSA Video)

Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad by Peter J. Hotez and

      Arthur L. Caplan (Book)

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida (Book)

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer (Book)

The Perfect Project: A Book about Autism by Tracy Packiam Alloway (Children's Book)

Cerebral Palsy:

Sports Illustrated Kids 2012 Sports Kids of the Year: Conner and Cayden Long (Video)

Speechless (TV Series

Breaking Bad (TV Series

Taking Cerebral Palsy to School by Mary Elizabeth Anderson (Children's Book)

I Got 99 Problems…Palsy Is Just One by Maysoon Zayid (Ted Talk

My Left Foot (Film

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper (Book)

Cleft Lip & Palate:

Call the Midwife (TV Series) Series 8, "Episode 3"

Developmental Receptive & Expressive Language Disorders: 

The Little Couple (Reality TV Series

The Wish by Tara McCarton (Children’s Book)

Down Syndrome: 

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching – Down Syndrome Documentary Trailer (Film)

Life Goes On (TV Series

Born This Way (TV Series

Taking Down Syndrome to School by Jenna Glatzer (Children's Book)

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter: A Novel by Kim Edwards (Book and Film

Glee (TV Series

Monica and David (Documentary Film

Call the Midwife (TV Series) Series 6, “Episode 5”

American Horror Story (TV Series

Any Day Now (Film

Sesame Street: Jason Kingsley (TV Series

Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities:

What is Dyslexia (Video)

Dyslexia – Think How You Learn (Video)

Nelson Beats the Odds by Ronnie Sidney II (Children's Book)

I Can’t Do This But I CAN Do That: A Film for Families About Learning Differences (Documentary Film

The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal by Jonathan Mooney (Book) 

Here I Am. (Public Outreach Campaign

In Her Shoes (Film

The Cosby Show (TV Series

Beverly Hills 90210 (TV Series

Glee (TV Series

My So-Called Life (TV Series

Pearl Harbor (Film

George Lopez (TV Series) 

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief (Film

Shake It Up (TV Series

How I Learn: A Kid’s Guide to Learning Disability by Brenda S. Miles, Colleen Patterson (Children’s Book)

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Book)

Here's Hank by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver (Book Series)

SEN Superpowers: The Map Challenge: A Book about Dyslexia by Tracy Packiam Alloway (Children's Book)

 

Feeding & Swallowing Disorders:

Swallow: A Documentary (Film

Making Connections: Swallowing Therapy and the SLP (PSA Video)

Making Connections: Pediatric Feeding and the Speech-Language Pathologist (PSA Video)

Huntington's Disease:

Call the Midwife (TV Series) Series 7, “Episode 3”

Do You Really Want to Know (Documentary Film

Everwood (TV Series), “Need to Know” 

Cold, Cold Heart, DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins (Video Game)

Intellectual Disorder:

I Am Sam (Film)

Forest Gump (Film

The Other Sister (Film)

Being There (Film

Gabrielle (Film

Of Mice and Men (Film

Riding the Bus with My Sister (Film

The Ringer (Film

To Kill a Mockingbird (Film

Radio (Film

Mental Illness:

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 (Documentary Film

A Beautiful Mind (Film

Call the Midwife (TV Series) Series 2, “Christmas Special 2012”; Series 3, “Episode 7”; Series 6, “Episode 1” and “Episode 6”

Homeland (TV Series

Matchstick Men (Film

It’s Kind of a Funny Story (Film

Silver Linings Playbook (Film

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Film

The Skeleton Twins (Film

Infinitely Polar Bear (Film

Welcome to Me (Film

Insight Out (Film

As Good as It Gets (Film

The Bell Jar (Film

Benny and Joon (Film

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Film

Behind the Lines (Film

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Film

Phenomenon (Film

In Her Shoes (Film

The Bipolar Experience by Lee Ann Jeffries and Eva Marie Everson (Book)

Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 (Documentary Film

It's A Wonderful Life (Film)

Mutism & Selective Mutism:

The Shape of Water (Film

The Piano (Film

Parkinson's Disease:

The Good Wife (TV Series

Physical/Medical Disabilities: 

Sesame Street: Christopher Reeve talks about his wheelchair (TV Series

Peppa Pig - Mandy Mouse (TV Series)

Mom (TV Series)

Sometimes by Rebecca Elliott (Children’s Book)

Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (Children’s Book)

Max the Champion by Sean Stockdale, Alexandra Strick and Ros Asquith (Children’s Book)

Lemon the Duck by Laura Backman (Children’s Book) 

Body of War (Documentary Film

Call the Midwife (TV Series) – Thalidomide, Series 5, “Episode 1” and “Episode 8”; spina bifida (Series 2, “Episode 4”), dwarfism (Series 6, “Episode 2”), polio (Series 3 “Christmas Special 2013”)

ER (TV Series

Forest Gump (Film

Special (TV Series)

Maltesers Ad (Commercial Ad

The Opportunity of Adversity by Aimee Mullins (TED Talk

Deep Sea Diving…In a Wheelchair by Sue Austin (TED Talk

Friday Night Lights (TV Series)

Joan of Arcadia (TV Series

Sesame Street: Itzhak Perlman (TV Series)  

Sesame Street: Tarah (TV Series)  

Sesame Street: Traction Jackson “TJ” (TV Series

The Sessions (Film

To Kill a Mockingbird (Film

An Affair to Remember (Film

The Bone Collector (Film

Born on the Fourth of July (Film

Finding Nemo (Film

Wonder by R. J. Palacio (Book)

Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R. J. Palacio (Book)

The Horse Whisperer (Film

The Little Couple (Reality TV Series

Little People, Big World (Reality TV Series

Hiding a Disability: FDR; American Experience (TV Series

FDR walking (News Footage

Hyde Park on Hudson (Film

The World’s Worst Place to be Disabled (Documentary Film

Some Kids Use Wheelchairs: Revised Edition (Understanding Differences) by Lola M. Schaefer (Children’s Book)

We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio (Children’s Book)

Downton Abbey (TV Series

Mercy Street (TV Series

Grey’s Anatomy (TV Series)

West Wing (TV Series)

Inside I’m Dancing (Film)

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Book and Film)

X Men – Professor X (Film)

Soar by Joan Bauer (Book)

Nike (Commercial)

Sara Reinertsen: My Crazy Dream (Nike Commercial)

Five Feet Apart (Film)

Speech-language Pathology:

The Little Couple (Reality TV Series

Little People, Big World (Reality TV Series

Making Connections: SLPs Help Children with Autism to Communicate (PSA Video)

Making Connections: The SLP and Community Based Services to Transition Aged Youth and Adults (PSA Video)

Making Connections: Swallowing Therapy and the SLP (PSA Video)

Making Connections: Augmentative and Alternative Communication and the SLP (PSA Video)

Making Connections: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children Learn at School with SLP and Audiology (PSA Video)

Making Connections: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity and the Speech-Language Pathologist (PSA Video)

Making Connections: Memory Care and the Speech-Language Pathologist (PSA Video)

Making Connections: Transgender Voice and the Speech-Language Pathologist (PSA Video)

Making Connections: Pediatric Feeding and the Speech-Language Pathologist (PSA Video)

Stuttering & Dysfluency:

The King’s Speech (Film

Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice by Katherine Preston (Book)

Colin Firth, 60 Minutes, Including video clip of King George VI’s speech (Interview

Porky Pig’s Debut, 1935 (Video)

A Fish Called Wanda (Film

The Cowboys, 1972 (Film

M*A*S*H, 1982 (TV Series

Little House on the Prairie, 1982 (TV Series

Shakespeare in Love (Film

A Family Thing (Film

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (Film

The Hurricane (Film

Stutterer (Documentary Film

Lady in the Water (Film

The Right Stuff (Film

The Astronaut Wives Club (TV Series

Rocket Science (Film

Out with It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice by Katherine Preston (Book)

My Stutter Made Me a Better Writer (New York Times Op Ed)

Tourette's Syndrome:

The Tic Code (Film

Traumatic Brain Injury & Brain Injury:

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords (Book)

Regarding Henry (Film)

In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing by Lee Woodruff and Bob Woodruff (Book)

Lost in My Mind: Recovering From TBI by Kelly Bouldin Darmofal (Book)

What Happens When You Have a Concussion (Video)

League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis (TV Show

Concussion (Film)

Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath by Michael Paul Mason (Book)

Where is the Mango Princess: A Journey Back from Brain Injury by Cathy Crimmins (Book)

ALICIA - Living with Traumatic Brain Injury (Film

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova (Book) 

The Vow (Film

Head Games (Documentary Film

Call the Midwife (TV Series) Series 4, “Episode 8”

Run and Jump (Film

iBoy (Film

Every 21 Seconds (Film

Along Recovery (Documentary Film

50 First Dates (Film

The Descendants (Film

Remember Sunday (TV Film

The Music Never Stopped (Film

The Crash Reel (Documentary Film

The Bell Ringer: The Invisible Brain Injury (Documentary Film

Providence (TV Series) 

Visual Impairment:

Sesame Street: Lauren Goes to School (TV Series

Sesame Street: Big Bird Learns about Braille (TV Series

Sesame Street: Aristotle (TV Series

Lucy’s Picture by Nicola Moon (Children’s Book)

The Secret Code by Dana Meachen Rau (Children’s Book)

Mole’s Sunrise by Jeanne Willis and Sarah Fox-Davies (Children’s Book)

Can I See? By Amanda McCoy (Children’s Book)

Call the Midwife (TV Series) Series 6, “Episode 2” 

Looking Past Limits by Caroline Casey (TED Talk

Fashionyesta by Emily Davison (Blog

Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV Series

LeVar Burton on “Geordi LaForge’s” Blindness (Interview

The Miracle Worker (Film

Do You Dream in Color (Documentary Film

Scent of a Woman (Film

See No Evil, Hear No Evil (Film

Ray (Film

Little House on the Prairie (TV Series

Dare Devil (Film)

Ice Castles (Film)

Sesame Street: Ray Charles (TV Series

Voice Disorders:

Julie Andrews’ Struggle with Losing Her Singing Voice (Interview

Adele Opens Up About Vocal Chord Surgery (Interview

Vocal Cords Singing (Video

Singing in the MRI (Video

National Geographic, Steven Tyler (Documentary

NPR’s Diane Rehm and Spasmodic Dysphonia (Interview