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For Immediate Release

Contact: Tim Benjamin,, 651-644-6421
Linda Wolford,, 612-624-1403

Premiere of The Real Story, a documentary film exploring media coverage of the disability issues in Minnesota, 6:30pm on October 28th, 2013 at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak Street Minneapolis. A second screening will be held November 4th in the Great Hall of the U-MN's Coffman Union. Events are free and open to the public.

Oct 1, 2013 - Access Press, Minnesota's disability community newspaper, announces the release of the documentary, The Real Story. Narrated by Kevin Kling, The Real Story explores biases in media coverage of disability issues in Minnesota and nationally and examines the role of grassroots and mainstream media outlets in reporting on stories important to all people with disabilities.

New coverage of disability issues has changed over the years, and Minnesota has often led the nation in responding to the concerns of the disability community by reporting on the issues that affect them. Still, stories intended to be factual are often influenced by misconceptions that are ultimately harmful to people with disabilities. In some cases, the mainstream media has recognized their biases in reporting. Longtime broadcast journalist Don Shelby notes, "it wasn't that we [the mainstream media] became enlighted, it was because those people in those communities with these disabilities found their voices and they spoke up."

Too often, stories about disability are more inspirational than factual, or rely on old stereotypes that perpetuate misconceptions about what it means to live with a disability. John Tschida, Vice President of Public Affairs and Research at Courage Kenney Rehabilitation Institue, notes that "People with disabilities aren't just those heroes or those people who rise and walk when there's five minutes left with the Family Channel movie of the week. That doesn't happen in reality." Speaking on the role of disability-focused media like Access Press, Margot Imdieke Cross, of the State Council on Disability, said, "What I love about publications that focus on disability issues is they focus on the facts. They focus on what's going on. They don't get caught up in the emotional aspect of disability."

The Real Story will premiere at the McNamara Alumni Center on the Uof M Campus October 28 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. A panel discussion with media reporters, newsmakers, scholars, and activists will follow the film. A second screening will be held November 4 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM in the Great Hall of the U of M's Coffman Union. Both events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For disability accommodations, please contact Linda Wolford,, 612-624-1403

These events are sponsored by the University of Minnesota's Disabled Student Cultural Center, with support from Disability Services and Handi Medical Supply.
The film was produced with the generous support of UCare.