Beyond Disability: The FeFe Stories

The Empowered Fe Fes (slang for female), a group of young women with disabilities, hit the streets of Chicago on a quest to discover the difference between how they see themselves and how others see them. Their revelations are humorous, thought provoking and surprising. As the young women grapple with issues as diverse as access, education, employment, sexuality and growing up with disabilities, they address their audience with a sense of urgency, as if to say, "I need to tell you so you'll see me differently." See for more information.

00:10Copy video clip URL Photo slideshow introduction to video with voiceover of women and girls discussing being “disabled, female, and proud!” 

00:34Copy video clip URL Upbeat musical montage of disabled women and girls.

01:05Copy video clip URL Title card “Beyond Disability: the Fe Fe stories”, followed by street interviews on what it means to be disabled conducted by Krystal Martinez. Martinez discusses her experience becoming a disabled person at fifteen years old. She highlights the negative impacts on her personal life after becoming disabled.

03:00Copy video clip URL “More than half of the public feel awkward or embarrassed when encountering a disabled person.” Alysha Kostelny, Joanna Munoz, Fannie Mae Outlaw, and Tyra Rhoden reflect on discrimination and misunderstanding from peers they encountered growing up as disabled people. 

04:56Copy video clip URL Dawn Ramsey, who was born with spina bifida, introduces herself. Another segment of street interviews is led by Dawn. These interviews focus on how people with disabilities are portrayed in the media. 

05:33Copy video clip URL “Students with disabilities are 3 times less likely to finish high school.” Ashley Kennedy, Keesha Alexander, Nico Echols, Veronica Martinez, Krystal Martinez, and Dawn Ramsey talk about their difficulties finding schools that will accept them and meet their needs. 

09:35Copy video clip URL Terrah Payne, who was born with cerebral palsy, introduces herself. She proclaims “My disability doesn’t put me down! I want to know more, I want to do more.” Another segment of street interviews ensue on the topic of disabled people going to college. 

11:23Copy video clip URL Chaka Stovall introduces herself and conducts interviews on the topic of accessibility in Chicago. 

12:09Copy video clip URL Onscreen text: “Eighty-five percent of the public believes that jobs, housing, transportation and public places should be more accessible.” 

13:34Copy video clip URL “The majority of people with disabilities are unemployed despite the fact that they want to work.” The collective of disabled women and girls recount problems they’ve faced with finding employment. 

15:16Copy video clip URL “Thirty percent of Americans would be concerned if a co-worker had a disability” Veronica Martinez talks about how she’s working with the mayor’s office with people with disabilities, she says “they showed me how to advocate for myself.” 

16:06Copy video clip URL Street interviews on the topic of dating people with disabilities. “Almost half of Americans would be uncomfortable if their child dated someone with a disability.” The group share their thoughts on sexuality, desire, and parenthood. 

18:28Copy video clip URL “Three-fourths of the public say they feel pity when they see a disabled person.” Terrah Payne shares her story of being in a wheelchair and having to learn how to walk again after a hip injury she had when she was eleven years old.  

19:22Copy video clip URL “Forty-seven percent of the public is afraid, because what happened to a person with a disability might happen to them.” Street interview with the question “what would you do if you got a disability?”

19:45Copy video clip URL Dawn Ramsey shares a difficult experience of being a child and watching her sisters do things that she couldn’t do because of her disability. She and other girls talk about their issues with self-harm when they were younger.

21:30Copy video clip URL The first annual Disability Pride Parade. Short clips of footage from the parade. 

22:20Copy video clip URL Montage of the girls sharing their goals for the future and what they want to pursue in college.

23:28Copy video clip URL End Title Card “The Empowered Fe Fes is a project of Access Living, a service, education, and advocacy organization run by and for people with disabilities.”

23:34Copy video clip URL Credits




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