University of Rochester

EVENT: Wretches and Jabberers
Documentary Challenges Misconceptions About Disability

November 11, 2013

TIME, DATE, PLACE: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, Hoyt Auditorium, University of Rochester's River Campus. The film screening is free and open to the public.

WHAT: The Inclusive Possibilities Cluster, in collaboration with Active Minds and the Psychology Undergraduate Council, will host a screening of the documentary, Wretches & Jabberers. The film tells the story of two men with autism who embark on a global quest to change prevailing attitudes about disability and intelligence. Determined to address preconceived notions, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette travel to Sri Lanka, Japan, and Finland to dissect public attitudes about autism and challenge others to reconsider the concept of 'ability.'

Growing up, both Thresher and Bissonnette were excluded from normal schooling. With limited speech, they faced lives of social isolation in mental institutions or adult disability centers. However, when they learned as adults to communicate by typing, their lives changed dramatically. Through Wretches & Jabberers, a poignant narrative of personal struggle replete with intelligence, humor, hope and courage, Thresher and Bissonnette hope to inspire parents and young men and women with autism and to address widespread misconceptions about disability. A brief panel discussion will follow the film.

SPONSOR: Inclusive Possibilities Cluster, Active Minds, Undergraduate Psychology Council, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, the Warner School of Education, International Services Office, the UHS Promotion Office, and the UR Cinema Group.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: The film is closed captioned; if you require descriptive narration to access the film or ASL interpretation for the post film panel, please email Julia White at by Nov. 10, 2013. See the event Facebook page for updates.