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Documentaries by and about persons with disabilities

‘Not To Be Feared’

Jongaya is one of Indonesia's last leprosy settlements. Many people choose to live here to escape discrimination and stigma. *Audio descriptions for blind and low-vision audiences. Click the player's CC button to read along.

Filmmaker: Dija

Photo of Dija.

Dija is chairperson of the Association of Indonesian Women with Disabilities (HWDI)’s branch in Simbang in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi.   Read more about Dija

One Voice

2021 DJP Fellow Esther Suubi provides an intimate look at how Ugandan women with psychosocial disabilities unite against discrimination. *Audio descriptions for blind and low-vision audiences. Click the player's CC button to read along.

Filmmaker: Esther Suubi

Photo of Esther Suubi.

Esther Suubi is an advocate for young girls and women's voices and a peer educator at Triumph Mental Health Support.  Read more about Esther Suubi

Out of Their Hands

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated limited work opportunities for Indonesian massage therapists who are blind and low-vision. *Audio descriptions for blind and low-vision audiences. Click the player's CC button to read along.

Filmmaker: Mahretta Maha

Photo of Mahretta Maha.

Mahretta Maha is a disability rights activist living with blindness. She is a program officer at the Association for Disability Access Elections (PPUAD) for the National Coalition of Organizations with Disabilities.  Read more about Mahretta Maha

News From the Global Frontlines of Disability Justice

Retta Maha poses for the camera. She is wearing a red shirt and her hair is pulled back.

As Long as You Have a Story to Tell

DJP Fellow Retta Maha is the first blind filmmaker the DJP has worked with, and she’s paved the way in showing how individuals who are blind or low vision can tell video stories: “I found that blind people also can be filmmakers, as long as they get support. The blind have their own idea of … what the story is, and then the sighted people can help them make it real.”

Read more about As Long as You Have a Story to Tell

A shack located in Jongaya, a leprosy community in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

‘Everyone Has Dreams’

Misconceptions surrounding leprosy continue to have significant impacts in Indonesia, a country with the third-highest incidence of leprosy in the world. In Jongaya, people experiencing leprosy live separately from the rest of the population in South Sulawesi. One former resident shares her story.

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Sustia Rini poses for the camera.

The Right to Health

Six years after Indonesia passed its disability law and 11 years after it ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Indonesians with disabilities still do not have equal access to healthcare. Forced to go without medical treatment, many become sicker and perhaps more disabled and fall deeper into debt.

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Ariani Soekanwo poses for the camera.

Rule of Law

Ariani Soekanwo became a disability rights activist as a college student. Since then, she has helped start several Indonesian disability rights organizations. Age is not an obstacle for her. Her enthusiasm for encouraging the fulfillment of rights for persons with disabilities in Indonesia pushes her to never stop thinking and creating.

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Naufal Asy-Syaddad stands outside homes in Indonesia.

Sticks and Stones

After DJP Fellow Naufal Asy-Syaddad was diagnosed with autism, he experienced bullying and exclusion in his early school years. Now, he’s found a home at Yogasmara Foundation, where he advocates for disability rights and raises awareness about autism. People with autism, he says, “are highly misunderstood.”

Read more about Sticks and Stones

Dija poses for the camera.

‘Treat Me Like Everyone Else’

DJP Fellow Dija spent the beginnings of her life indoors and away from others. “In my village, people with disabilities are pitied,” she says. In recent years, she has been on a mission of acceptance and opportunity for persons with disabilities. No longer afraid to leave her home, Dija draws from her own experiences in her advocacy work.

Read more about ‘Treat Me Like Everyone Else’