Kdalsh | Indy Week

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Re: “A New Kind of Listening powerfully advocates for people with disabilities

Marc Maximov's review of my film, A NEW KIND OF LISTENING got a couple things rightthe film's "passionate argument for inclusion and respect makes it a powerful piece of advocacy." And he rightly quotes me when I said, "We don't want this film to be just about FC [Facilitated Communication]." Unfortunately, Maximov made one factual error, was lazy in his reporting and missed a core message of the film. First, Maximov wrote, "After seeing a rough cut of the film, officials at the [FC] institute had sufficient qualms to request a disclaimer at the end." No such request was made by the institute. Margaret Heath, Polly Medlicott and I included the language in deference to the institute's amazing work and the promise FC holds for thousands of people who can benefit from its use. Secondly, in his critique of FC, Maximov wrongly asserts that Margaret Heath, a highly skilled and sensitive facilitator, actively influenced the typing shown in the film. Maximov's failure to contact Ms. Heath and explore his own skepticism before printing erroneous assumptions does a disservice to the many people working earnestly to give voice to people who might otherwise be voiceless. Finally, as the review title indicates, Maximov's eyes were focused squarely on Chris Mueller-Medlicott and the disabled members of the theater group. Yes, Chris is a main character, and Maximov's discussion of his life and how it is treated in the film is right on. But one of the key messages of the filmthat inclusive arts benefits and transforms everybodywas missed. The film is challenging and will stir controversy and debate. We need the courage to suspend disbelief and trust the heartfelt, inclusive work shared in A NEW KIND OF LISTENING. Kenny Dalsheimer www.anewkindoflistening.com

Posted by Kdalsh on 11/04/2009 at 6:16 PM

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