Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
On the Same Page gives new students (and everyone else) at Berkeley something in common to talk about: a work that has changed the way we view the world. In 2023, that work is the documentary film Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution. Following a group of disabled teenagers from Camp Jened in New York to Berkeley, California in the 1970s, this exuberant documentary chronicles a turning point in the disability rights movement and the fight for accessibility.
Our student reviewers described the documentary as “incredible,” “moving,” “full of fun, joy, and love,” and something that “everyone should see.” One student reviewer appreciated the documentary’s portrayal of “disabled-centered happiness and accomplishments, one of the many ways it changed my perspective.” Crip Camp reminds us of the power of community and activism to change the world.
Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht, Directors/Producers
Nicole Newnham is an Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning documentary producer and director, five-time Sundance Film Festival alumnus and seven-time Emmy nominee. She most recently directed The Disappearance of Shere Hite, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and will be released by IFC films this fall, and two episodes of the Emmy-nominated ESPN landmark Title-IX series 37 Words. Nicole co-directed and produced the 2021 Academy Award-nominated documentary Crip Camp with Jim LeBrecht. The film won the Sundance Audience Award, the IDA Best Feature Documentary Award, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature, and a Peabody. Nicole has produced two virtual reality films with artist/director Lynette Wallworth that have each won an Emmy for Outstanding New Approaches to Documentary: the breakthrough VR work Collisions (2017) and Awavena (2019). Both films premiered at Sundance New Frontiers and were featured in installation form at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Nicole’s other acclaimed documentaries include, the Emmy-nominated films The Revolutionary Optimists, Sentenced Home and The Rape of Europa. A graduate of Oberlin College and Stanford University’s documentary film graduate program, Nicole lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband, Tom Malarkey, and sons Finn and Blaine.
Jim LeBrecht co-directed and co-produced, with Nicole Newnham, the 2021 Oscar Nominated, 2020 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award and 2021 Peabody Award winning documentary, Crip Camp. He has over 40 years of experience as a film and theater sound designer and mixer, filmmaker, and disability rights activist. Jim is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. LeBrecht is a co-founder of FWD-Doc and the 1in4 Coalition, two organizations that support people with disabilities in the entertainment business. He is a member of the first cohort of the Disability Futures Fellowship, an initiative of the Ford Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
News & Events
On the Same Page presents: CRIP CAMP Directors and Producers Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht: A Film Screening and Conversation
Thursday, September 14, 2023 | 4-7 p.m. | Zellerbach Hall
4p Film Screening
6p Conversation with Directors and Producers Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht. Moderated by Karen Nakamura, Professor of Anthropology. Introduction by Benjamin E. Hermalin, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.
Film screening is in-person only. Conversation will be in-person and livestreamed.
Submit your questions for Nicole and Jim in advance of the event: https://bit.ly/otsp2023
Exhibit: A Camp, a Campus, and a Disability Revolution
September 13, 2023 – February 28, 2024
Bernice Layne Brown Gallery – Doe Library
This exhibit showcases The Bancroft Library’s renowned Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement project, which comprises over 100 oral histories from leaders, participants, and observers of the disability rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s, supplemented by a rich collection of personal and organizational papers. On display are a brochure and newsletters from Camp Jened, the camp for teenagers with disabilities that fostered community and a sense of agency for many individuals who went on to be activists in the movement. The exhibit also traces the long history of disability activism at UC Berkeley. Blind students and deaf students came to the university in the 19th century, and would go on to become teachers and organizers. Photographs and quotes from interviews with Ed Roberts, the first severely physically disabled student to attend the university (1962) and a seminal figure in the history of the disability rights movement, among other early activists, are also featured; along with the application form submitted by the “Rolling Quads” (as some of the first students with disabilities on campus called themselves) to become an official student group, as well as photographs from the Disabled Students’ Program records.
The 504 Sit-in is represented by memoirs, oral histories, and publications from participants and supporters such as the Black Panthers, the International Association of Machinists, and feminist groups. The exhibit also highlights the many campus units and organizations that comprise and serve the disability community today.
Superfest Disability Film Festival
October 19–22, 2023
Superfest 2023 will occur online Thursday, October 19th through Sunday October 22nd with in-person screenings Saturday October 21st at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley and Sunday October 22nd at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
Produced by the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability.
Berkeley Voices episode 113: Funky and free-spirited: How a 1970s summer camp started a disability revolution
By Anne Brice, Berkeley News | September 5, 2023
At UC Berkeley, all first-year and transfer students watched Crip Camp over the summer, so they’d have something in common to talk about — throughout the school year, in classes and at events designed to explore the film’s themes. It’s part of On the Same Page, a program of the College of Letters and Science.
‘This camp changed the world’: New exhibit tracks the rise of the disability rights movement and its ties to UC Berkeley
By Dan Vaccaro, UC Berkeley Library | September 13, 2023
Summer camp is a rite of passage for many kids in the United States. Swimming. Arts and crafts. Long conversations in the bunkhouse. And maybe even some precious memories to carry with you for a lifetime.
For the campers and counselors at Camp Jened that experience meant even more. Jened was a sleepaway camp for people with disabilities that originally operated in upstate New York from 1951 to 1977. Amid the modest buildings and overgrown fields, the young people encountered something radical: a world that was built to include them, rather than ignore them.
Crip Camp Essay Contest Winners
In partnership with On the Same Page, the Division of Arts & Humanities sponsored a student essay and video contest. The three winning essays — by Jessica Park, Juana Penalosa, and Victoria Fan — were chosen by Scott Saul, professor of English and committee member for this year’s On the Same Page program. We asked students to stream the documentary, and invited them to respond to one of the following prompts:
- Reflect on the film in a creative way to share its impact with people in your life. Why should they watch it?
- Profile one of the Berkeley changemakers around disability studies and disability rights. The person you profile can be either in the film or a faculty or alum of Berkeley who has made an impact in the community.
- Bring awareness to one of the disability rights outcomes that resulted from the work of the pioneers featured in the film.
Disability Cultural Community (DCC) Center
UC Berkeley’s Disability Cultural Community Center seeks to create and provide a safe and social space for the Cal disability community to build authentic connections and support one another. The space is designed by, for, and with the disability community to serve as a platform to advocate, educate, and collaborate among students, faculty, and staff living with a disability to advance and empower both the community on campus and beyond so persons with disabilities can fully learn, work, and live with dignity.
UC Berkeley Library Research Guide for Disability Studies
This website will help you find the best library databases, search tools, and reference sources for Disability Studies. Critical Disability Studies is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary field that approaches disability as a social and cultural category, a lived experience, and an analytical frame. It thus expands understandings of disability and people with disabilities across diverse geographical and temporal contexts. According to the Encyclopedia of American Disability History, “disability is not a characteristic that exists in the person so defined, but a construct that finds its meaning in a social and cultural context.”
Disabilities Studies Minor
The Disability Studies minor provides a space to explore questions such as these: How has disability been defined in various historical moments, in various cultures and eras? While impairment has unquestionably been a frequent experience throughout human history, has disability—the construction of impairment as a generic social category—been a historical constant, or is it a modern invention? What social ideologies, cultural systems, and societal arrangements have shaped the meaning and experience of disability? How has disability been defined or represented in cultural and artistic productions, public laws and policies, modern professional practices, and everyday life?
Disabled Students’ Program (DSP)
The Disabled Students’ Program promotes an inclusive environment for students with disabilities. We equip disabled students with appropriate accommodations and services to achieve their individual academic goals. We are dedicated to supporting disabled students and collaborating with the campus community to remove barriers to educational access and embrace the University’s values of equity and inclusion. We believe that an accessible environment universally benefits everyone.
Disability Access & Compliance (DAC)
Disability Access & Compliance connects the UC Berkeley community with the resources, training, evaluative tools, and services that support equal access to students, staff, faculty, and visitors with disabilities to participate in university-sponsored non-course-related programs or activities.
ASUC Disabled Students Commission
The Commission is a disability justice advocacy group and a community at UC Berkeley that is led by Disabled students. The mission of our Commission is to radically love. To radically love includes advocating for universal access, inclusive design and justice. It also includes caring, respecting, and being responsible for our community members. If you are interested in getting involved, getting emails, or just being invited to our parties navigate to our “Interest Form” in our linktree here.
Staff Alliance for Disability Access (SADA)
The Staff Alliance for Disability Access (SADA) is a collaborative and supportive campus staff organization that addresses the needs of UC Berkeley staff members with disabilities. “Disabilities” may refer to any combination of physical, psychological, learning, and medical disabilities.
Disability Studies Cluster, Othering & Belonging Institute
The Disability Studies Cluster aims to support theoretical and applied research, policy analysis, teaching and community partnership on disability issues at local, national and global levels. Working to understand the meaning and effects of disability socially, legally, politically and culturally at various points in space and time, we seek to eliminate barriers to full social inclusion; advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities; elucidate the complexities of disability experience; develop new critical paradigms for understanding disability in relation to race, gender, sexuality, transnational perspectives and economic disparities; and open up new ways of thinking about and from the vantage point of disability.
Bancroft Library Oral History Center – Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement
The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement Project was launched in 1996 to capture the history of a remarkable movement by people with disabilities to win legally defined civil rights and control over their own lives. Since then, more than 100 oral histories with leaders, participants, and observers of the movement in the 1960s and 1970s have preserved the living memory of the movement. A rich collection of personal papers and the records of key disability organizations join the oral histories in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, comprising an in-depth research resource for the study of a contemporary social movement which has changed the social, cultural, and legal landscape of the nation.
Crip Camp Curriculum
Crip Camp shared with insight, clarity, humor, and beauty the experiences of one group of disabled young people and their journey to activism and adulthood, and in doing so, provides an opportunity for all to delve into the rich and complicated history of disability activism, culture, and history. The goal of this curriculum is to extend the knowledge and understanding of disability and of disabled people offered in the film Crip Camp.
Crip Camp Education Materials
Crip Camp is about the emotional experience of finding community and oneself for the first time and the power of realizing that a better life is possible through social change. Below are resources that provide an overview of the history and context of the disability rights movement as well as a step-by-step framework for leading and moderating a discussion. These resources can help guide your conversations and empower you and your participants to share your voices with others in your community.
Crip Camp Educator Discussion Guide
This guide provides a framework for fostering discussion, critical thinking, and action after viewing Crip Camp. Even though we are everywhere, disabled people, disability culture, politics, and activism continue to be silenced and hidden by the mainstream, non-disabled media and culture. It is our hope that viewing Crip Camp and engaging in a critical discussion of the film will advance understanding and interest in disability rights and disability justice for yourself and the communities you work in.
Disability Language Style Guide (National Center on Disability and Journalism)
As language, perceptions and social mores change rapidly, it is becoming increasingly difficult for journalists and other communicators to figure out how to refer to people with disabilities. Even the term “disability” is not universally accepted. This style guide, which covers dozens of words and terms commonly used when referring to disability, can help. The guide was developed by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and was last updated in the summer of 2021.
Official Trailer with Audio Description
Faculty Planning Committee
Faculty with expertise in the themes of this year’s selection, from a wide range of disciplines, plan engaging events and activities for students throughout the academic year. In previous years, the faculty planning committee has organized panels, roundtables, film screenings, concerts, faculty dialogues, karaoke nights, contests, and more. If you would like to join our efforts, please email Aileen Liu.
Anne Baranger, Chemistry
Cori Hayden, Anthropology
Jake Kosek, Geography
Eric Ma, Physics
Poulomi Saha, English
Aileen Liu, Chair, Director of Curricular Engagement Initiatives
Abrar Rahman, Alexandra Zega, Amy Tu, Carina Kim, Christian Aleman, Citlali Diaz, Esme Cohen, Fe Su, Helen Berg, Hyunsoo Choi, Kyle Diarmit, Lenci Ni, Marina Zhao, Matthew Rowe, McKinley Keys, Mei Johnson, Michael Kamenis, Nichelle Wong, Niki Ebrahimnejad, Sofia McNamara, Sydney Reyes, and Vanessa Luna
Keila Diehl, Caitlin LaFleur, Jennifer Monahan, Benjamin Paul, Michelle Phillips, Alexander Rony, and Bibi Zaragoza
Special thanks to Sonya Lee, Belinda White, Dave Murray, and student assistants Bridget Bernet and Patty Perez