May 31, 2023

COE Partners to Debut ‘Intelligent Lives’ Documentary

The award-winning documentary Intelligent Lives will premiere on the Fredericksburg campus Thursday, March 7, from noon to 3:30 p.m. in the Hurley Convergence Center Digital Auditorium. A panel discussion will follow the film, which stars three pioneering young adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce.

The documentary is co-hosted by UMW’s College of Education and Gladys H. Oberle School in Fredericksburg. Admission is free, but registration is requested at

“Intelligent Lives is a film to help us better understand the value and potential of the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by challenging our assumptions about intelligence, said COB Dean Peter Kelly. “I am grateful to partner with the Gladys H. Oberle School to share this important learning experience with students, teachers, and educators in the area.”

Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.

“People with intellectual disabilities are the most segregated of all Americans,” said Dan Habib, a New Hampshire-based filmmaker who is the documentary’s producer, director and cinematographer. “Only 17 percent of students with intellectual disabilities are included in regular education. Just 40 percent will graduate from high school. And of the 6.5 million Americans with intellectual disability, barely 15 percent are employed.”

About Marty Morrison