Review: ‘Crip Camp’ traces the origin of a social movement
If you’re looking for something truly inspirational to distract from the current state of things, Netflix’s “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” might be just the ticket. This documentary focuses on an idyllic summer camp for kids and teens with disabilities in the Catskills in the early '70s that turned out to be a breeding ground for the modern disability rights movement.
Located just a short distance from Woodstock, Camp Jened in 1971 was a welcome and heady escape from the world for a group of kids with disabilities from polio to cerebral palsy. At home, when the law offered no protections or guarantees of equality, their disabilities governed their lives. The now-grown campers describe how they were excluded from many normal childhood activities and institutions, from sports to school. But at camp, they got to experience what it was like to just be young. They swam. They dated. They played sports. They goofed around. They debated. And they got to be around a vibrant group of people who saw a person first, not a disability.