David Greenhalgh and DisabilityFilms.co.uk

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David Greenhalgh is making a difference.

“I had an operation to stop things from getting worse. They cut away part of my spinal cord c4 to c7. When I came out of the hospital, I was trapped at home for months. After becoming disabled, my first idea was to compile a general database of disability resources but my hobbies were films and books. Eventually, I made the decision to compile a list of films that involved disabilities. I put it on the web in 1994,” Greenhalgh said. “The Internet was such a free-spirited place, I felt I was giving something back. The website I created www.disabilityfilms.co.uk was and still is in its scope unique. There are hundreds of disability-related sites offering general information, but I think the more specialized ones are the most useful.”

“There is a rash of films these days involving disabilities; some good, some bad. I did want to increase the scope of the site and add some extended essays on aspects of disability in films, but some of what I wanted to say is slightly controversial. Most people think disabled actors should play disabled characters. I believe being an actor is about acting. My roots are in repertory theatre where the same group of actors played all the roles; women as old and young, women as men, and vice versa. But obviously disabled actors should get equal chances. I shun politically correct terms like actors with disabilities,” Greenhalgh explained. “An actor with Down Syndrome or an actor using a wheelchair should not play just characters like themselves. In most drama an actor with a disability can play a father, a mother, a student who just happens to be disabled and this is not the focus of the plot.”

There is a lot more to the story. You can read it here:

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=46901

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