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"Crip Camp" A True Story Of Inspiration And Change

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A summer youth camp for disabled kids that operated in upstate New York starting in the 1950's, Camp Jened was a refuge for an entire generation of special needs kids. Run by a group of what were then called hippies, the camp gave disabled kids a chance to experience all the things a "normal" kid would in summer camp.

But Camp Jened wasn't just the source of a lot of treasured memories. It also proved to be the wellspring of a landmark piece of legislation: the Americans with Civil Disabilities Act. And now, the camp has been immortalized in Crip Camp, a fascinating documentary now airing on Netflix.

A former camper himself, James Lebrecht directed the film with Nicole Newnham, with Michelle and Barack Obama acting as executive producers. The film traces the story of a group of campers who, under the leadership of civil rights activist Judith Heumann, worked for the passage of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act – one of the first American civil rights laws to protect people with disabilities.

To learn more about this heartwarming and important new documentary, check out Salon's feature article.

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