For Good

For Good was made some thirty years ago. It is a documentary without commentary and features Angie, Helen and Geoff, who were all born with cerebral palsy. We see their daily triumphs and frustrations and hear them describe, with some humour, living in “an able-bodied world”. When the film was televised in the UK, it was the first time that people with speech disabilities had been allowed to “speak for themselves on national television”. In the last 30 years, some things have changed for the better for disabled people but, still, in the words of Angie, “I’ve always said that it’s society that makes you handicapped, not your disability.” Since this film was made, Angie and her husband raised a son, now 26 years old and a 6-foot-tall rugby player. Tragically, her husband, Tony, died five years ago in an accident. She now runs her own consultancy company, advising disabled people on independent living. Geoff has been awarded an O.B.E. and Helen has gained a degree.

Beyond Belief

Something remarkable happened for the first time in Asia. Sixteen physically challenged people went on an expedition to demand equal respect.They trekked through areas that normal people would dread to dare. What was unique was their arrival at a desolate location in the Gorumara forest in trolleys? The clanking of iron wheels on long unused iron tracks injected a challenge in the home of the Indian elephant and one-horned rhino. The four teams had prepared well for the ordeal ahead. Each team had one visually impaired person, a speech and hearing impaired person, one person without upper limbs and one person without lower limbs. They were made aware of the dangers of the expedition… and chose to ignore these with indomitable resolution. A team of 16 differently-abled persons wrote a new chapter in the history of human achievement.