“Crip Camp” and the Disability Rights Movement

This is a Rita Braver story that was featured March 14, 2021, on the CBS “Sunday Morning” program about Camp Jened, a summer camp that began in in 1971 in the Catskills of New York State for teens and young adults with disabilities.  Jim LeBrecht, one of the campers at the time, shot hours of film about life at the camp, including interviews with the campers.  That film sat unwatched for 50 years until LeBrecht collaborated with Nicole Newnham, an Emmy Award winning documentarian. 

The film, the product of Executive Producers Barack & Michelle Obama, was then produced by Netflix last year as a compelling documentary called “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution.” Of course, the term “crip” is certainly no longer appropriate, and for good reason, but apparently, it was intended to provoke thought and discussion.  It also seems that a group of the original campers have banded together in the years since their stay at the camp as disabilities rights advocates.  Among those, Judy Heumann went on to be appointed in 2010 as the State Department’s first Advisor for International Disability Rights.    I highly recommend this inspiring video.

John Trontis, CPRP, NJCRID Professional Advisory Board Member