To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, KMOS-TV will broadcast a series of inspirational documentary films that highlight and celebrate individuals who have overcome mental and/or physical challenges to achieve their goals. These films will air nightly at 5 p.m. beginning Monday, July 20 through Friday, July 24 on KMOS Emerge 6.3.

KMOS-TV has partnered with West-Central Independent Living Solutions (WILS) to help provide financial support for the broadcasting of these programs. WILS works to empower persons with disabilities to live independently.

“We are excited to partner with an important organization like WILS that works to better the lives of so many in the communities that we jointly serve,” said Scott Alvested, Community Engagement Coordinator for KMOS-TV.

The films are part of the MOVE TO IMPROVE project, spearheaded by WXXI in New York with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and showcase achievement despite disability. Each film seeks to educate, inspire, and encourage cultural change to better serve individuals with disabilities.

Enter The Faun: The culmination of an intensive two-year collaboration between veteran choreographer Tamar Rogoff and Gregg Mozgala, an actor with cerebral palsy. Their creative exploration, at the intersection of science and art, led them to discover that his diagnosis and physical limitations were not necessarily fixed and immutable.

Deej: Deej is the story of DJ Savarese, a gifted, young writer and advocate for non-speaking autistics. Once a “profoundly disabled” foster kid on a fast track to nowhere, DJ is now a first-year college student who insists on standing up for his peers: people who are dismissed as incompetent because they are neurologically diverse.

Intelligent Lives: Intelligent Lives follows three young adults with intellectual disabilities: Micah, Naieer, and Naomie, who, with the support of family, educators and colleagues, work toward a future marked with increased inclusion and independence. Their pioneering lives challenge staid notions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor, Chris Cooper.

Perfectly Normal for Me: Alexandria, Jake, Caitlin and Veronica, ages 5 to 15, reveal what it’s like to live with physical disabilities. Their parents search out opportunities where they are accepted and feel valued, such as an after-school dance program in Queens, New York. Throughout all, they become eloquent advocates for the powers of inclusion, respect and empathy.

Vision Portraits: Acclaimed director Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother and The Happy Sad) takes viewers on a personal journey as he ponders how the deterioration of his vision will impact his life and work as a filmmaker. Interviewing blind and low vision artists — a photographer, a dancer and a writer— Evans embarks on a quest to learn how other artists have continued to create art and how their journeys might serve as inspiration for his own.

This announcement comes from Jeff Murphy, Asst. Dir. of Integrated Marketing and Communications for Media Relations with the University of Central Missouri.

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