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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: October 26, 2011

What's it like to walk in the footsteps of children with disabilities and their parents? A new documentary answers this question through the eyes of three Wake County school children ages 13, 9 and 5.

The film comes home for its North Carolina premier at the William and Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Written, directed, and produced in Wake County, the documentary, "Certain Proof: A Question of Worth," debuted in April at Colorado's Vail Film Festival and is slated for screening at four other film festivals. Proceeds from the N.C. premier will benefit the New Voices Foundation, a Triangle-based outreach foundation that serves children and parents, like those featured in the film, and trains teachers.

New Voices commissioned the production company, Footpath Pictures, to make the documentary, which offers insight into daily school life for children who are hampered in their speech or mobility but who have good academic potential, and some of whom are gifted. The film shows the students' difficulties being accepted into the mainstream education, the bureaucracy that stymies their teachers and administrators, and the passionate battle of three mothers who believe in their children's rights to a public education. Watch the movie trailer here, and you come to understand that among the biggest challenges facing these children are other people's assumptions that they are not smart or don't have an opinion. http://www.certainproof.com/

Certain Proof's director Ray Ellis said the film's producers were inspired by the journeys of the children and their mothers and wanted to bring their story to the rest of the world. "These children are among the least understood in our schools and in our society," he said in a statement.

The name  "Certain Proof" reflects the hard reality that children with disabilities face, having to prove themselves. "Constantly doubted on what they know, they have to have a different level of proof before they are taught the same as their non-disabled peers," Ellis said in a release. "Children who are able to learn and with strong cognitive abilities often are labeled, left behind, and underestimated. Our purpose in producing this documentary is to lift the veil of disability, showing these unique and wonderful children in a truer light."


If you go: Doors will open at 6 p.m. Remarks will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by the film's screening and a wine and cheese reception. Tickets are available for purchase starting at $50 for sponsors, $25 for patrons and $10 for teachers and students. To reserve, visit www.newvoicesnc.org.


Looking for resources for your child with special needs? Carolina Parent's 2011 Special Kids guide offers resources to help children with disabilities and developmental delays. Visit our digital guide here.



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