If you loved the documentary 2019 American factoryThen you will probably enjoy the latest Netflix documentary produced by Barack and Michelle Obama. Crip camp. The film tells the story of Camp Jened, a summer camp for young people with disabilities, and follows these campers from the 1970s until the years after they left the camp to fight for their civil rights. Many of the campers became committed activists, and their efforts have helped create anti-discrimination laws for Americans with disabilities. Here you will find everything you need to know about the real Camp Jened and its mission.
What was Camp Jened?
Camp Jened was founded in 1951 and was designed for campers with disabilities. It is located at the foot of Hunter Mountain in New York's Catskills, just a few miles south of Woodstock. The camp not only fostered a sense of community and confidence for those who did not have the same opportunities and skills as other campers, but eventually helped spark the American movement for the disabled in the 1970s. At home, the law offered no protection or guarantee of equality for people with disabilities, but at Camp Jened, campers, who were often excluded from many normal childhood activities and facilities, were given a place where their disabilities were undefined She.
Who is Jim Lebrecht?
In addition to Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht was not only the director and producer of the film, but also a former camper at Camp Jened. LeBrecht was born with spina bifida, which occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not form properly. In Jened, LeBrecht found a port where he was treated like any other camper. "Before I went to this camp, I had gone to another summer camp for the disabled and you were really infantile," he said Deadline. "The consultants slept with you in the same bunk here, music is played all the time, and there was just that spirit in the air that I had never seen before."
With more than 35 years of experience as a film and theater sound designer and mixer, LeBrecht always wanted to find a way to tell the story of his time at Jened. He proposed to Newnham the idea of a film he had worked with for 15 years to do the sound design and mix their documentaries. Some of the footage shown in the film was even taken by LeBrecht himself when he was 15 in 1971 when NYC videographers with portable video cameras appeared in the camp. "You strapped this heavy video deck onto the handlebars of my wheelchair and gave me a camera, and someone pushed me around the camp," recalled LeBrecht The Hollywood Reporter. Fortunately, he and Newnham were able to restore the footage.
Who is Judy Heumann?
Another important character in the film is the American disability rights activist Judy Heumann, who was a former Jened camper and later a camp advisor. Heumann contracted polio at the age of 18, which caused her to use a wheelchair, and like LeBrecht, Jened Heumann allowed him to share with others about the experiences of people with disabilities. She became an important force in the struggle for civil rights, and in 1970 sued the Board of Education for discrimination after she was denied her New York teaching license. She won and became the first person to teach a wheelchair in NYC. In the same year, Heumann and some of her Jened friends founded Disabled in Action, an organization that focuses on protecting people with disabilities under civil rights laws through political protest.
While serving as the legislative assistant to the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare in 1974, Heumann helped develop laws that became the Disability Education Act. Three years later, when the United States Secretary of Health, Education and Social Affairs refused to sign Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, Heumann helped organize the historic 504 sit-in at the San Francisco office, which lasted 28 days . Heumann later worked as a special advisor to President Barack Obama.