By Dan Habib
INTELLIGENT LIVES follows three young adults with intellectual disabilities: Micah, Naieer and Naomie, who, with the support of family, educators and colleagues, work toward a future marked with increased inclusion and independence. Their pioneering lives challenge staid notions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college and the workforce.
Historically relegated to a life in isolation, people with intellectual disabilities are among the most systematically segregated people in America. Only 17 percent are included in regular classrooms, and just 15 percent are employed. Nevertheless, 17-year-old Naieer Shaheed attends a Massachusetts public high school and is working towards a career in visual arts. Naomie Monplaisir, 25, works at a beauty school and aspires to support herself financially. Thirty-year-old Micah Fialka-Feldman studies and teaches at Syracuse University, and is a champion of the self-advocacy and independent living movement.
INTELLIGENT LIVES is narrated by Academy Award-winning actor, Chris Cooper, who, through the story of his late son Jesse, expands our understanding of a person’s potential beyond their IQ.