Get-hooked January 17, 2022
‘This is not about me’ – Film featuring a woman with autism who fought hard to be recognized and trusted
October, 2021 CommunicationFIRST, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism partnered to release “This Is Not About Me,” a documentary featuring Jordyn Zimmerman. The film shows the difficulties endured by non-speaking people with autism when they aren’t given appropriate communication options. AssistiveWare is a proud supporting partner of the film.
You can watch the This is Not About Me trailer, and rent the film, at thisisnotaboutme.film.
What is it like to be a person with autism and non-speaking in a world that has already made up its mind about you? This Is Not About Me tells the story of Jordyn Zimmerman. Jordyn dreamt of becoming a teacher. She started out eager to learn at school, but she was soon separated from the other children. Unable to communicate, teachers thought she was also unable to understand or learn. Year after year, her behavior worsened. She was restrained and placed in seclusion. Jordyn found herself caught in a system that unintentionally turned her life into a living nightmare. Finally, at the age of 18, with the help of educators who see her differently, she manages to turn her fate and flourish.
The film shares Jordyn’s many experiences which made her who she is today.
About the film ‘this is not about me’
Filmed in an observational style, This Is Not About Me gives a glimpse into Jordyn’s daily life. The documentary takes us to Jordyn’s schools and involves interviews with teachers that worked closely with her. Jordyn guides us through difficult moments in her childhood. Piece by piece, her story reveals how professionals misunderstood her and pushed her deeper into a broken education system. Despite this system, Jordyn thrived, but her story is not one in a million. There are thousands of students like Jordyn who have something to say.
“Moved by her strength, ambition, and sense of humor, I knew right away I wanted to make a film about Jordyn. While filming This is Not About Me, I was inspired by how great of an advocate she is. I hope this film will inspire everyone to question our assumptions and look past our prejudices of people who can’t speak.” Marco Niemeijer, Director
About Jordyn Zimmerman
Jordyn Zimmerman obtained her bachelors degree in Education Policy from Ohio University and her Masters of Education at Boston College. Having experienced special education programs while in school herself, Jordyn hopes to become a catalyst for change. As a nonspeaking student with autism who was denied access to effective augmentative communication (AAC) until she was 18, Jordyn has personal experience challenging the educational status quo, which is featured in the 2021 documentary, This Is Not About Me.
She founded the Ohio University Sparkle Effect team and was recognized by the International Council for Exceptional Children with the “Yes I Can!” Award. Jordyn is currently pursuing her Master’s of Education at Boston College and remains committed to being a catalyst for change in the education system.
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