Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy on PBS.org

Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy premieres Thursday, October 1, 2009.

The film Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy chronicles the lives of two of the country’s most remarkable advocates for people with disabilities. Diana Braun, who has Down syndrome, and Kathy Conour, who has cerebral palsy, met three decades ago and vowed to fight to live independent lives. Fearful of being shut away in a nursing home or forced into a state-run institution, Diana and Kathy broke the rules, escaped the system, and modeled a grand experiment in independent living.

As a result of their efforts, today Diana and Kathy are well-known as a tireless and dynamic pair of lobbyists and activists in the disability movement. Although Kathy is non-verbal, through the help of a mouth stick and the Pathfinder assistive communication device, she writes articles for national magazines and has a lively email correspondence with leaders in the disability rights movement. Kathy also serves on boards, and continues to lobby effectively for disability rights—Kathy was once even arrested, power chair and all. Diana drives, cooks, shops, takes care of scheduling doctor’s appointments and has been Kathy’s personal assistant and friend for more than 35 years.

Diana and Kathy participate in the democratic process by visiting their congressional representatives and helping to influence laws that support people with disabilities (Credit: Dean Williams and Associates).

GO To PBS

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