Autism, Communication, and the World of Work – Film Series 2015 at The Gateway Film Center

January 25, 2015
Logo for Food For Good Thought
Brought to you by Food for Good Thought, Inc. and Audrey Todd, PhD. Reservations recommended. Tickets sold in advance using the link below. The price is $10 each when ordered early and $12 at the door.

Autism is a World

Sunday 2/22/15 (1 pm)
Autism Is a World is an American short-subject documentary written by Sue Rubin, a woman with autism who was considered mentally retarded as a child. It was nominated in the 77th annual Academy Awards for Best Documentary Short Subject. At the age of thirteen, she learned to express herself through a computer keyboard, revealing that she was in fact highly intelligent. She went on to study history, specializing in Latin American History at Whittier College, and to write speeches about her life as an autistic person.

Inside the Edge: A Journey to Using Speech Through Typing

Sunday 4/26/15 (1 pm)
This documentary depicts Jamie Burke as a high school student when his speech emerged. Jamie can speak words as he types them and can read the texts he has written, and most recently has begun to use longer sentences in spoken dialogue. The documentary includes clips of the student when he first learned to communicate through supported typing and shows his ability to now type without physical support. Jamie Burke, the subject of the documentary, wrote and speaks the entire narrative of the video (2002).

I Am in Here

Sunday 6/28/15 (1 pm)
“Do you want to know what it’s like to be thought of as stupid?” This was Mark Utter’s experience for most of his life. Mark’s autism prevents him from speaking his thoughts. Described by Utter as a “docudrama with hues of tragicomedy mixed in,” this documentary highlights the contrast between people’s perceptions of Mark and the intelligent man trapped inside. Part live action, part surrealistic animation, I Am in Here is a fictional day-in-the-life of Utter as he negotiates his way through a series of communication barriers that most people take for granted (2013).

My Life as an Artist

Sun 8/30/15 (1 pm)
Looking back on his years of living in an institution for people labeled mentally retarded, Vermont-based autistic artist Larry Bissonnette assesses this form of “apartheid” as “better for growing vegetables rather than people.” This documentary is filled with Bissonnette’s humorous yet poignant assessments of his life growing up as well as his family and creating art. Moving back and forth between speech, typing, and painting, Bissonnette’s wit and insight punctuate a day in the life of this visual artist (2005).

Wretches and Jabberers

Sunday 10/25/15 (1 pm)
Wretches & Jabberers is a documentary film about two men with autism who embark on a global journey to help others with autism to break through their isolation. Tracy and Larry, who are largely non-verbal, communicate through typing on iPads with voice output technology. Since the debut of the documentary, Larry and Tracy, accompanied by their communication assistants and colleagues Pascal and Harvey, have presented and consulted at venues around the country (2010).

We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism

Sunday 12/13/15 (1 pm)
Six adults with autism talk about their thoughts and feelings in ways that are touching, revealing, and surprising. These are the true autism experts whose voices are finally being heard (2008).
The viewing of each film will be followed by a discussion led by Dr. Audrey Todd about the work history and current career of each individual with autism depicted in the documentary, as well as how the use of AAC impacts their work experience.