ICI Filmmaker Jerry Smith to Receive AAIDD Historic Preservation Award

Sun Jan 15 2017
Photo of Jerry Smith and the cover images of some of his films.

Jerry Smith, a filmmaker and media director specializing in documentary and social issue media, has been selected to receive the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) 2017 Hervey B. Wilbur Historic Preservation Award. The award recognizes significant contributions to historic preservation of the archives of the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and/or AAIDD. Smith will receive the award at AAIDD's 141st Annual Meeting  in Hartford, Connecticut on June 28.

"It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by AAIDD, the oldest professional organization promoting the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities," says Smith. As Media Producer/Director with ICI's Research and Training Center on Community Living,  he has conceived of and directed dozens of films  that promote greater awareness and understanding of disability issues, giving voice to many under-told stories of disability history, community, and activism. Among them are Higher Ground,  a documentary exploring the work of Direct Support Professionals during and through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; We Watch the City,  a documentary telling the stories of New Yorkers with developmental disabilities in the aftermath of 9/11; and the recently-released Valuing Lives: Wolf Wolfensberger and the Principle of Normalization,  which has renewed interest in the history of the deinstitutionalization movement and the principle of Normalization.

Star Tribune reporter Chris Serres has been selected by AAIDD to receive its Media Award at the same ceremony this summer. He was nominated for the award by ICI for "Failing the Disabled,"  a series of award-winning, in-depth articles he wrote in 2016 about disability issues.