In the Fall of 2015, students from across Steinhardt’s programs congregated at 5 Washington Place to view the highly acclaimed French film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of the French magazine Elle, who as a young man suffered a massive stroke, became “locked in”, and was unable to move except for the blinking of his right eye. With the help of his speech therapist, Bauby learned to communicate by blinking, and ultimately dictating his memoirs using this incredibly laborious method.
The viewing of the film was preceded by a reception and followed by a discussion led by Dr. Randy Mowry from the Department of Applied Psychology and Dr. Alla Feldbarg, Neurologist from the Veteran’s Administration.
The event was held again in Spring 2016, when students gathered to view A Theory of Everything. Based on a book by Jane Hawking, it tells the story of her spousal relationship with Stephen Hawking, famous British theoretical physicist, who was diagnosed with motor neuron disease.
The mission of Abilities in the Cinema, sponsored by all 11 Steinhardt Departments and NYU’s Council for the Study of Disability, is to bring students from diverse programs across the school together for an evening of intellectual and social engagement using film as the vehicle to increase awareness of disability– related issues in society. Alumni and the greater NYU community are welcomed at this biannual event.