Floyd Stewart and his granddaughter, Imani
"As a university administrator and former judge, it is my hope that this remarkable film will be shown to faculty, staff, and students on campuses throughout this country.”
LaDoris H. Cordell,
Stanford University, Special Counselor to the President for Campus Relations

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Freedom Machines a public television program and national outreach campaign, looks at our beliefs about disability through the lens of assistive technology. The program explores how human experience and technological innovations are outpacing social policies and the perceptions that have guided them.

In Freedom Machines, viewers will meet a cross-section of America's population a few of the 54 million Americans with disabilities whose lives are being transformed with the help of new technologies. Despite its promise, statistics indicate that fewer than 25% of people with disabilities who could be helped by assistive technology are using it. A 1999 study commissioned by The California Endowment and conducted by the Alliance for Technology Access found that people with disabilities "make do" without vital technology because they are not aware that it is available to them and don't know how to obtain it. Furthermore, the people they most often turn to for information and referrals medical care providers, educators, and community technology centers have inadequate or outdated knowledge themselves. Of course, the hardest hit are the poor, those who speak English as a second language, minorities, and the rural poor.

What makes this situation unusual is the existence of tangible solutions and the possibility that they can be widely applied. But this effort needs a jumpstart, and that is where Freedom Machines comes in. Weaving together the stories of a group of unforgettable people in a dozen locations around the U.S., Freedom Machines is not only a revelation but also a call to action. It shows what is now possible, what will soon be possible, and why those who could and should benefit are not doing so.