As an undergraduate student, Reid Davenport was looking forward to studying abroad in Florence. Though his application was accepted, a few months before he was scheduled to fly out, the program organizers learned of his cerebral palsy and talked Reid out of the trip because of the city’s inaccessibility.
He didn’t go. But Reid would wonder for months afterward about how people with disabilities in Europe lived there and still traveled. In 2012, he and a friend went to four Western European countries to make a documentary about accessibility in the region.
“We encountered some obstacles,” Reid said. “But none of them proved to be insurmountable.”
His film, “Wheelchair Diaries: One Step Up” was awarded in the Short Doc category by the grand jury at the Awareness Film Festival in California and was featured at the DC Independent Film Festival and the Utopia Film Festival.
Reid’s latest project, Through My Lens, seeks to raise awareness of students with disabilities and their perspectives through filmmaking. The goal is to equip students with disabilities with the necessary video equipment and skills and to educate the more general student population about the perspectives of their peers with disabilities.