Friday, January 13, 2017

"Intelligent Lives" Questioning Intelligence

Intelligent Lives - A New Film by Dan Habib

What do you think about intelligence? Do you have preconceived notions about what intelligence looks like? Do you imagine a rocket scientist or a wise old professor with glasses giving lectures about Plato? As the film “Intelligent Lives” points out, 49 out of 50 states still use intelligence tests to sort people, but what if the use of intelligence tests has been perverted and is biased in many ways including racially and culturally? What if intelligence doesn’t fit so neatly into a scored box?

Alfred Binet developed the first IQ test in the early 20th century, but from all accounts he didn’t mean for the test to be used in the ways that it has been. As is pointed out in the preview version of “Intelligent Lives,” IQ tests were used to further eugenics movements including those in Nazi Germany and the US. Thankfully, we are no longer living in those times, but many people still believe that a number on an IQ test will dictate how a person can live their life. While IQ tests might be instructive in certain circumstances, they were never intended as something to base a person’s life on.

The film “Intelligent Lives” breaks this idea that people are nothing more than their IQ scores. In this documentary “filmmaker Dan Habib will explore how the segregation of people with intellectual disabilities became the norm, why this segregation is slowly being dismantled, and how some people with intellectual disabilities are blazing a bold new path” (Intelligent Lives Website: About-Project).

Actor Chris Cooper, who is the narrator of the film, talks about his son Jesse (who had cerebral palsy) and how IQ tests could tell them “nothing about Jesse’s potential. About who he was as a person” (Psychology Today, 2016). As well, Habib shared with Psychology Today that “because his son uses a wheelchair, he is sometimes not treated as a teenager, but rather infantilized: ‘The perception of someone’s intelligence; the perception of someone’s capacity, dramatically affects their opportunities in life.’” (Psychology Today, 2016). In the preview for the film we meet a man named Micah Fialka-Feldman who has an intellectual disability, and is a teacher/student at Syracuse University. We also meet Naieer Shaheed who is going to school, is artistically gifted, and has an intellectual disability. These are just a few of the “intelligent lives” that Habib shares in the film.

We invite you to view the short preview of the film “Intelligent Lives” which appears to be a terrific and informative film. To find out more about the movie and the entire project, please visit the Intelligent Lives website at:

In addition, please check out the TEDTalk documentary below given by filmmaker Dan Habib.

To see our prior post about "Intelligent Lives," click this link

Psychology Today,
Intelligent Lives Website,

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Social Media Manager for PSU Kiwanis Capstone

Hello everybody! My name is Kristin Bell, and I’m the new Social Media Manager for the fantastic PSU Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp program. I’m very excited to be working with the program, and I hope to provide you all with helpful updates and interesting articles to read. I’ll be posting to our Facebook page, as well as to this blog.

I hope that my work will highlight the amazing things that people with disabilities do (and sometimes struggle with), as well as feature our own campers and counselors in the PSU Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp program—past, present, and future.

My first experience working with people of different abilities came when I was in the fourth grade. I was lucky enough to be chosen to spend my recess time with the kids in Special Ed at my school. It was a fun experience for a little kid, and instilled in me that even if other kids had different abilities, they could still enjoy recess just like me. I am also a person living with a more invisible disability—mental illness. I am outspoken about getting rid of the stigma associated with mental illness, and have blogged and vlogged about my own experiences on the internet.

I’m currently a post-bac undergraduate student here at Portland State studying everything I can. My first degree is a B.S. in Liberal Studies from PSU. I have been studying everything from graphic design and music to computer science, math, psychology, and economics (among other things). I have also completed the writing minor, and have been working in the webisphere for a long time. When I’m not busy with school, I enjoy spending time with my family, sewing, drawing, designing, reading, writing, singing, doing random nerdy stuff, and cuddling with my cat.

If you ever need to reach me, feel free to email me at or contact me through our blog or social media site. If you have an idea for an article or just have a question, I’d love to hear from you!