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Lexington Venue

1794 Massachusetts Avenue

Lexington, MA 02420

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Please join the Lexington Special Education Parent Advisory Council (LexSEPTA/LexSEPAC), the Lexington Commission on Disability, the Lexington Human Rights Committee, the Cary Library, Temple Isaiah, and the Lexington Venue for a screening of the film:

“Intelligent Lives” with discussion after the film moderated by Melanie Perkins McLaughlin, M.Ed.

About the Film

From award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib comes INTELLIGENT LIVES, 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.

INTELLIGENT LIVES stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence 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 personal story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S. INTELLIGENT LIVES challenges what it means to be intelligent, and points to a future in which people of all abilities can fully participate in higher education, meaningful employment, and intimate relationships. Film Website: https://intelligentlives.org/ Trailer: https://intelligentlives.org/trailer

About the Moderator

Melanie Perkins McLaughlin, M.Ed., is an Emmy award winning documentary film maker and was a Consulting Producer for “Intelligent Lives”. She is a disability rights advocate, public speaker and the mother of three children, the youngest of whom has Down syndrome. Since her daughter’s birth in 2007, she has become a spokesperson on disability and civil rights issues. She has been interviewed nationally by TIME magazine, CBS News, USA Today, HBO, ABC, Japanese Public Broadcasting (NHK), National Public Radio, Fox News and the BBC. She recently wrote an article chronicling the journey of parents as advocates, which was published as the cover story for the Harvard Education Magazine in 2017: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/ed/18/05/parents-advocates.

Melanie is currently a graduate teaching fellow at the Harvard School of Education in Dr Tom Hehir’s course “Implementing Inclusive Education”. She was an inaugural Allen C. Crocker Fellow with Boston Children’s Hospital and the Institute of Community Inclusion and is the co-chair of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Special Advisory Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of The Federation of Children with Special Needs. Melanie has a Masters degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University and a dual bachelor’s degree in Communication / Media and Human Services from Fitchberg State College.


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1794 Massachusetts Avenue

Lexington, MA 02420

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