New Documentary Questions IQ As A Measure Of Intelligence
A film challenging what it means to have intellectual disability is set to screen at theaters across the country.
The documentary “Intelligent Lives” premieres Friday in New York City. The debut will be followed by a week-long run in New York and nearly 100 showings from Florida to Alaska are planned this fall.
Narrated by Academy Award winner Chris Cooper, the film focuses on three adults with intellectual disabilities — Micah, Naieer and Naomie — who are excelling in school and work despite their IQ scores.
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“Our society has a very narrow definition of what it means to be ‘intelligent,’ and that definition often excludes people with disabilities,” said filmmaker Dan Habib. “There is not another group of Americans that are as systematically segregated and underestimated in modern day society.”
Historically, IQ scores have been used to determine whether individuals should be institutionalized, educated or forcibly sterilized, the film notes.
Even today, 49 states still rely on IQ testing to assess students with disabilities despite the fact that the exam evaluates just part of the brain’s ability to learn, according to the documentary.
“Many young adults, families and educators are unaware that students with intellectual disability are being fully included in high school and college in hundreds of schools across the United States. Employers may not know that people like Naomie, Naieer and Micah can thrive in the workplace,” Habib said. “By meeting Micah, Naomie and Naieer, ‘Intelligent Lives’ will show millions of viewers the power of opportunity and high expectations.”