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Disability Issues


POV has featured a number of films that are ideal for introducing students to disability issues. This collection offers educators a range of our most popular accompanying content, from web features to discussion guides, lesson plans and reading lists. Note: Lesson plans are accompanied by streaming video clips.


When I Walk

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Discussion Guide

Jason DaSilva was 25 years old and a rising independent filmmaker when a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis changed everything -- and inspired him to make another film. When I Walk is a candid and brave chronicle of one young man's struggle to adapt to the harsh realities of M.S. while holding on to his personal and creative life.

Lesson Plan

It's About Access

In this lesson, students explore issues of accessibility as they step into their immediate communities to determine a range of physical barriers to those living with disabilities and conceptualize ways to remove some of those obstacles.

AXS Map: Search Wheelchair-Accessible Businesses

AXS Map (access map) is a crowd-sourced tool for sharing reviews on the wheelchair accessibility of businesses and places.

Additional Resources

» Download the Reading List
» Borrow the film


My Way to Olympia

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Discussion Guide

Who better to cover the Paralympics, the international sporting event for athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities, than Niko von Glasow, the world's best-known disabled filmmaker? Unfortunately -- or fortunately for anyone seeking an insightful and funny documentary -- this filmmaker frankly hates sports and thinks the games are "a stupid idea." Born with severely shortened arms, von Glasow serves as an endearing guide to London's Paralympics competition in My Way to Olympia.

Lesson Plan

The Faces of Athleticism

In this lesson, students explore the meaning and essence of athleticism as they examine various "Olympics" for athletes with a range of physical abilities.

Additional Resources

» Download the Reading List
» Borrow the film


Freedom Machines

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Discussion Guide

Freedom Machines takes a new look at disability through the lens of assistive technology. The experiences of a group of unforgettable people let us re-examine ideas about ability and disability grounded in our culture and attitudes.

Lesson Plan

Technology Transforming Lives

In this lesson, students will learn about assistive technologies, gain awareness of the assistive technologies they use or benefit from and consider the impact of technological innovation on society.

Additional Resources

» Links and Books for Further Learning
» Borrow the film



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POV documentaries can be taped off-the-air and used for education purposes for up to one year from the initial broadcast.

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