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Endowment for Health Grant Brings "Including Samuel" to Health Professionals

By Matthew Gianino, Institute on Disability / UCED
January 14, 2009

The Institute on Disability (IOD) has received a $30,000 grant from the New Hampshire Endowment for Health to improve the capacity among N.H. health care professionals to appropriately address the health care needs of children with disabilities and their families.

The grant will support screenings and discussions of the documentary “Including Samuel” for a wide spectrum of health care providers and students throughout the state. The Improving New Hampshire’s Health Care Delivery for Children with Disabilities program is a collaboration with the IOD’s Including Samuel Project which focuses on building more inclusive schools and communities through curriculum, training, and outreach.

This program is designed to leverage the power of film to promote greater awareness, sensitivity, and competency in responding to the needs of N.H.’s children with disabilities and their families. Including Samuel Project staff will work with partners in N.H.’s health care system to integrate the messages of “Including Samuel” into the dialogues, practices, and training of health care providers across the state.

This will include screenings and panel discussions for pediatricians, specialists, and residents in the Dartmouth Hitchcock health care system; for post-secondary programs at UNH preparing tomorrow’s health practitioners; for mental health providers and consumers (co-sponsored by NAMI NH); and for the annual meeting of the N.H. School Nurses’ Association.

“The Endowment for Health sees vast potential to reach health professionals, decision makers, and community members through ‘Including Samuel,’” said Kelly Laflamme, program director at the Endowment. “We believe film is a powerful tool that can promote social change—especially when the subject is as compelling as Dan and his family. We are proud to partner with Dan and the Institute on Disability for this valuable program.”

Dan Habib’s award-winning 2008 documentary “Including Samuel” chronicles the Habib family’s efforts to include Samuel in every facet of their lives. The film honestly portrays his family’s hopes and struggles as well as the experiences of four other individuals with disabilities and their families. “Including Samuel” is a highly personal film that captures the cultural and systemic barriers to inclusion in schools and communities.

“Including Samuel” has been screened at universities, national conferences, film festivals and independent theatres across the country. The film has also been featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and Good Morning America NOW, as well as in the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. Exceptional Parent Magazine called it a “must see” film.

For more information on the Institute on Disability and the film “Including Samuel,” please visit www.iod.unh.edu.

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