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Further Reading & Viewing

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Books

Courage in America: Steve Baskis’ Story by Steve Baskis
(Kindle Edition, excerpted from Courage in America by Michael J. Kerrigan)Courage in America: Steve Baskis' Story

In Courage in America: Steve Baskis’ Story, read how Steve Baskis rose from tragedy to triumph after suffering traumatic war injuries and reestablishing his life. Through a personal interview by author Michael J. Kerrigan, Baskis’ story shows his courage and spirit as he overcomes obstacle after obstacle and navigates successfully toward his recovery. This story captures Baskis’ courage, leadership abilities, and military training to be selfless in battle. It showcases the good character of this young hero, his caregivers, and family. Baskis’ story will motivate newly injured troops to have hope during their own rehabilitation, and it will give all Americans a better understanding of the sacrifices that so many young men and women have voluntarily made for our country. —Amazon.com

Planet of the Blind by Stephen KuusistoStephen Kuusisto's Planet of the Blind

As a boy he careened down the street on the bicycle his mother bought him. As a teenager he traveled to Europe and played basketball. As a young man he won scholarships, taught classes, went bird watching. And all the while, Stephen Kuusisto would not utter, even to himself, the one central truth of his life: he could not see. With 20/200 vision in his better eye, he was legally blind. Writes Kuusisto: “I see like a person who looks through a kaleidoscope; my impressions of the world at once beautiful and largely useless.” In this breathtaking memoir, Stephen Kuusisto leads us on a vividly painted odyssey into a landscape that is both beautiful, terrifying, and magical. A work of exquisite intelligence and passionate heart, Planet of the Blind is for anyone who has viewed the world through a unique lens – and ultimately seen the truth. —stephenkuusisto.com

The Mind’s Eye by Oliver Sacks
The Mind's Eye by Oliver Sacks

Sacks explores some of the most fundamental facets of human experience–how we see in three dimensions, how we represent the world internally when our eyes are closed, and the remarkable, unpredictable ways that our brains find new ways of perceiving that create worlds as complete and rich as the no-longer-visible world. —oliversacks.com

Don’t Call Me Inspirational by Harilyn Rousso

For psychotherapist, painter, feminist, filmmaker, writer, and disability activist Harilyn Rousso, hearing well-intentioned people tell her, “You’re so inspirational!” is patronizing, not complimentary. In her empowering and at times confrontational memoir, Don’t Call Me Inspirational, Rousso who has cerebral palsy, describes overcoming the prejudice against disability—not overcoming disability.

Don't call me inspirational coverShe addresses the often absurd and ignorant attitudes of strangers, friends, and family. Rousso also examines her own prejudice toward her disabled body, and portrays the healing effects of intimacy and creativity, as well as her involvement with the disability rights community. She intimately reveals herself with honesty and humor and measures her personal growth as she goes from “passing” to embracing and claiming her disability as a source of pride, positive identity, and rebellion. A collage of images about her life, rather than a formal portrait, Don’t Call Me Inspirational celebrates Rousso’s wise, witty, productive, outrageous life, disability and all. —temple.edu/

Films

High Ground Directed by Michael Brown
Featuring Going Blind’s Steve BaskisHigh Ground Film

Eleven veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan join an expedition to climb the 20,000 foot Himalayan giant Mount Lobuche. With blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer and a team of Everest summiters as their guides, they set out on an emotional and gripping climb to reach the top in an attempt to heal the emotional and physical wounds of the longest war in U.S. history. Representing nearly every branch of the military, the veterans, and the Gold Star Mom who joins their trek, bring humor and deep emotion to this hero’s journey all captured with breathtaking, vertigo-inducing cinematography by three-time Emmy® winner, director Michael Brown. —HighGroundMovie.com

Do You Dream in Color? Produced and Directed by Abigail Fuller & Sarah Ivy Dickerson
Still in Production

Do You Dream In Color? began as a small project: a quest to understand the dreams of the blind. We quickly found ourselves with a story bigger than we were expecting—surrounded by an inspirational group of blind teenagers and a larger-than-life mission to raise awareness about a community that captured our hearts. Each of the teenagers we follow in the documentary has an inspiring story and a dream to pursue: Connor is a blind skateboarder with his heart set on making the Active Ride Shop skate team. Sarah longs to connect with her mother who passed away by living abroad in Portugal for her senior year of high school. Hannah was adopted from China at age twelve, and five years later she feels compelled to rediscover her roots by returning to the Hunan Province where she grew up. Nick, a writer and drummer, struggles to keep his rock band together before the big show at the local Hot Topic. Carina, a second generation Mexican-American, fights to break down barriers by becoming the first member of her family to graduate high school and attend college. —doyoudreamincolor.org

Blindsight Directed by Lucy WalkerBlindsight Film

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayas, Blindsight follows the gripping adventure of six Tibetan teenagers who set out to climb the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri on the north side of Mount Everest. A dangerous journey soon becomes a seemingly impossible challenge made all the more remarkable by the fact that the teenagers are blind. Believed by many Tibetans to be possessed by demons, the children are shunned by their parents, scorned by their villages and rejected by society. Rescued by Sabriye Tenberken – a blind educator and adventurer who established the first school for the blind in Lhasa, the students invite the famous blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer to visit their school after learning about his conquest of Everest. Erik arrives in Lhasa and inspires Sabriye and her students Kyila, Sonam Bhumtso, Tashi, Gyenshen, Dachung and Tenzin to let him lead them higher than they have ever been before. The resulting 3-week journey is beyond anything any of them could have predicted. —blindsightthemovie.com

Trouble with the Curve Directed by Robert LorenzTrouble with the Curve poster

Gus is a baseball scout. The team he works for thinks he should retire. He asks them to let him do one more scouting job to prove himself. His friend, Pete, asks Gus’s estranged daughter, Mickey, if she could go with him to make sure he’s OK as his eyes are failing. The doctor tells Gus he should get his eyes treated but he insists on doing his scouting assignment, which takes him to North Carolina. Mickey decides to put her work on hold to go with him and she wants him to explain why he pushed her away. Whilst there he runs into Johnny, a scout from another team who was a promising player Gus once scouted. Johnny and Mickey take an interest in each other. —imdb.com

Feeling Judo Directed by Steven SimonFeeling Judo image

Feeling Judo is a documentary that explores the lives of blind judo athletes. Some were born blind; others lost their sight later in life. All have found purpose and skills in the sport of judo that extend beyond any dojo. More specifically, it’s about a coach in San Francisco who has dedicated his life to teaching judo and has over 1,000 national and international medal winners. It’s about former marine in Chicago who lost his sight over time and whose sensei is dedicated to teaching special needs children and adults with disabilities. It’s about Paralympic medalists and a father of four who lost his sight during life-saving surgery. It’s about a second-degree black belt who was born blind and hearing impaired. It’s about so much more than judo. — Feeling Judo Website

Sargy Mann Directed by Steven Simon

Sargy Mann produced and directed by Peter Mann in 2006, funded by the British Documentary Foundation (BritDoc)
Shown at BritDoc 06, Melbourne International Film Festival 07, LIDF, and Voyages European Film Festival.
Peter Mann’s film about his father the artist Sargy Mann as he goes through the process of making a unique series of paintings, the subjects for which were the last things he ever saw, and painted after going completely blind in May 2005. — Sargy Mann Vimeo

Sargy Mann from Peter Mann Pictures on Vimeo.