Pottsgrove Village Presents ‘Intelligent Lives’ Film

POTTSTOWN PA – A screening of the documentary film “Intelligent Lives,” which tells the story of three American adults with intellectual disabilities and how they challenge perceptions of intelligence, is scheduled for Jan. 25 (2023; Wednesday) from 6-8 p.m. in the auditorium of Pottsgrove Middle School, 1351 N. Hanover St.

The documentary, which is free to attend and open to the general public, is being hosted by The Pottsgrove Village. The group and its families of children with special needs are collaborating with the Pottsgrove School District’s Pupil Services Department to increase “understanding, inclusion, and advocacy through education and networking,” it said.

Advance registration is strongly encouraged, and is available now online.

Created by award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib, “Intelligent Lives” follows the three – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – “as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.,” according to its producers.

Watch an introductory preview of the film created by Habib, above, or see it his YouTube channel.

“People with intellectual disabilities are the most segregated of all Americans,” Habib says. “Only 17 percent of students with intellectual disabilities are included in regular education. Just 40 percent will graduate from high school. And of the 6.5 million Americans with intellectual disability, barely 15 percent are employed.”

In Montgomery County, data compiled from the U.S. Census and the 2015 American Community Survey shows:

  • About 10 percent of its population lives with an intellectual disability;
  • More than 20,500 students with disabilities were enrolled in special education as of October 2019, representing 12.4 percent of the county’s total school enrollment of 165,267 students; and
  • The unemployment rate during 2019 for individuals with a disability was 11.7 percent, nearly three times the rate for individuals without a disability.

“Intelligent Lives” is intended “as a catalyst to transform the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation into a life of possibility for the most systematically segregated people in America,” producers added.

Photo provided by The Pottsgrove Village and the Pottsgrove School District