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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Actors Change Perceptions Of People With Disabilities
December 30, 2003

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA & NEW YORK, NEW YORK--During my hunting and gathering today, I found two separate stories about television actors with disabilities who portray characters with the same disabilities.

The first is an interview that columnist Daniel J. Vance had recently with Robert David Hall, who plays coroner Dr. Albert Robbins on the CBS drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

Hall, a double-amputee who lost parts of both legs in a 1978 automobile accident, said he is treated differently when he uses his wheelchair than when he uses his crutches.

"In my chair and without my 'legs' on, I'm obviously a person with a disability," Hall told Vance. "When walking with crutches, I'm at an 'able-bodied' person's eye level. It's different."

The second is an Associated Press story about Daryl Mitchell, who plays Eli in the NBC comedy "Ed". Mitchell was paralyzed in a November 2001 motorcycle accident.

He said some people believe he is simply an actor playing the role of a man in a wheelchair.

"It makes me feel good that people aren't looking at me as a disabled actor," said Mitchell. "They're looking at me as an actor."

Related articles:
"Part two of interview with CSI actor Robert David Hall" (Daniel J. Vance)
"Part one of interview with CSI actor Robert David Hall" (Daniel J. Vance)
"Actor on NBC's comedy 'Ed' happy people looking beyond wheelchair" (Associated Press via Salt Lake Tribune)


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