Wheelchair Diaries:  One Step Up PURCHASE
Reid’s breakout film explores the lack of accessibility in Europe. It is an award-winning documentary that has been shown coast-to-coast and internationally. The film has been featured in the Washington Post and NPR.  More info…

SYNOPSIS:
Reid Davenport has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around and live his life in Washington, D.C., but has lived an independent life as a college student and published journalist. So when 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 to five European cities in three weeks.

The film introduces viewers to three Europeans with disabilities, all of which live completely different lives from one another. Gavin is a 39-year-old Dubliner whose perspective on disability and accessibility has changed when he was diagnosed with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis 15 years ago. Matthieu is a 23-year-old law student at Sorbonne University in Paris who has been confined to a wheelchair his entire life because of spinal muscular atrophy and wants to practice law in the U.S. because of its superior accessibility. Francois is a 33-year-old journalist with cerebral palsy, who has a podcast about handicapped topics and advocates for disability rights in his native-city of Brussels. Along with Davenport’s own difficulties traveling throughout Europe, these three people provide the anecdotes that put disability in a light that is rarely shone on them in the media and shows the undeniable connection between disability and the human condition.

DIRECTOR’S COMMENTARY: 

I made this film partially out of frustration of not being able to study abroad with my classmates. If accessibility was so bad in Europe that I couldn’t go, I wondered how Europeans with disabilities function. I had never made a film before and even though the accessibility is in many ways worse in Europe than the U.S., I found many of the social problems people with disabilities face are the same. The experience of making Wheelchair Diaries is why I have and will make more films from the disabled perspective.