Concerning Barriers: Three Films on Disability and Society

A Package of Three Films on Disability and Society
Year Released
Film Length(s)
52 mins
Closed captioning available Audio description available
Remote video URL


Each film in this package is also available separately and via streaming. Find the individual film by entering its title in the search bar.

Concerning Barriers consists of three films that are about disability from the perspective of people with disabilities. The films implicitly and explicitly explores issues and concepts such as accessibility, the medical model versus social model, marginalization, societal response to disability and the Americans with Disabilities Act. These films together create a more three-dimensional portrayal of disability than what is commonly shown in the media.

Featured review

[Wheelchair Diaries, Highly Recommended]. "The candid narrative and dialog between the filmmaker and subjects creates for an exceptional film that increases awareness of accessibility issues. Highly recommended as teaching material for college level students, excellent material for discussion starters in the classroom, community forums and panel discussions related to accessibility issues."
Electronic Media Reviews Online


Ramped Up

In its 25 years of existence, the Americans with Disabilities Act has been both hailed as a monumental law that ensures equality for people with disabilities, as well an enabler of frivolous lawsuits. The tension between both sides is explored through following a retired firefighter with a disability who has filed approximately 60 ADA lawsuits and a business owner with a disability who was sued under the law.

Wheelchair Diaries: One Step Up

When Reid Davenport was discouraged from studying abroad during his junior year of college based on his disability, he was more than a bit surprised. Davenport decided to travel with a cameraperson throughout Europe, documenting the lives of Europeans with disabilities and exploring the social impact of inaccessibility.

A Cerebral Game

Baseball was so much more than a game for Reid Davenport when he was growing up. It was about belonging and being a teammate, despite having cerebral palsy. In this intimately personal film, Reid explores the parallel between his adolescent loneliness and his ultimate rejection of the game he loved.


A Cerebral Game is a real and powerful look at how inclusion morphs from childhood through adulthood for individuals with disabilities. I use this video in a section of a course (Developmental Disabilities Studies) to specifically approach the issue of transition from childhood, to adulthood, and then beyond. It enables entry-level physical therapy and occupational therapy students to see how a child with cerebral palsy participates in a loved activity....and how as the child gets older, that same beloved activity becomes the source of sadness.
Dr. Lorraine Sylvester
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
'A Cerebral Game' helped us introduce our occupational therapy students to discussions regarding the interests and needs of young people with disabilities as they transition from school to opportunities for living and working in the community. The DVD and Reid's gracious Skype presence initiated students' thoughtful reflections on the social model of disability and concepts of self determination theory.
Dr. Anita Niehues and Professor Alison George
San Jose State University
After Reid's appearance on Newshour, anchor Judy Woodruff concluded, "Reid Davenport, we owe you a huge debt of gratitude and I hope everyone watching this segment will share it."
Judy Woodruff
PBS Newshour
[3.5 Stars]. "Filmmaker Reid Davenport's Ramped Up provokes thought about the great need for accessibility...Offering an insightful look at a thorny subject, this is highly recommended."
Video Librarian
The filmmaker narrates his own story while creating a visual landscape that is at once disorienting and nostalgic - and the result is so raw and compelling it's impossible to turn away. [A Cerebral Game]
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
In this moving—and sometimes humorous—documentary, a college student with a disability who was refused admission to an Italian study abroad program sets out to explore how Europe treats those in wheelchairs. What he finds is revealing not only of European attitudes but also of how society as a whole views disability. [Wheelchair Diaries]
Utopia Film Festival
In his short film Ramped Up, Reid Davenport skillfully and effectively takes on a tension-filled and complicated issue in the post-Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) era: lawsuits against small businesses...Ramped Up challenges its viewers not only to see multiple sides of an important disability-rights issue, but also to imagine what it would really take to make full access and inclusion a reality for everyone.
Joan M. Ostrove
professor of psychology, Macalester College
He was accepted into a program in Florence, but then was strongly discouraged from attending after program officials learned Davenport has cerebral palsy. That could have been the end of the story. Instead, it gave him a powerful idea. [NPR's story on Wheelchair Diaries]
Brigid McCarthy
Ramped Up is a documentary that dispels popular misconceptions about 'frivolous' ADA lawsuits and the disabled people who are impacted by them. This film provides a close-up look at accessibility and accommodations from the perspective of small business owners and disabled customers.
Alice Wong
founder of the Disability Visibility Project, appointee under President Obama

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Audio Description
  • Closed Captioning

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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