A film about Lott Industries, who employ 1200 workers with developmental disabilities. How can we create more opportunities for the disabled to work?
I am making a feature-length documentary film about Lott Industries, a company in Toledo, Ohio, that employs 1200 people with developmental disabilities. For decades the company has excelled in building car parts. However, with the decline of the auto industry, Lott Industries is struggling. The company must reinvent itself in order to protect the livelihoods of their disabled employees. My film, entitled “A Whole Lott More”, offers insight into the evolving world of work for people with developmental disabilities and asks the question: how can more disabled workers be integrated into the wider community?
Twenty years have passed since the passing of the ADA - the Americans with Disabilities Act. Still, people with disabilities are often shut out of opportunities to work. 81 percent of Americans with disabilities do not have a job and, for those with developmental disabilities, the statistics are even worse. Many of those who do have jobs rely on environments like Lott Industries for their livelihood and their futures. The film imagines a world where disabled people can have greater job opportunities.
We are following six characters in the film:
TJ Hawker, a Paralympian, has cerebral palsy and is deaf. TJ loves his job at Lott but hopes one day to work in wider community if the right opportunity arises. He is considering going to college.
Wanda Huber, a 'material handler' at Lott, has seen, far too often, how the non-disabled treat the disabled - as if they were invisible. She has become an advocate for the disabled and she helps to organize a workers’ group at Lott.
Our third character is a young autistic man who is hoping to get a job. We are following him on interviews but Toledo has been heavily affected by the recession - in fact it is the 9th poorest city in the USA. Even basic jobs are hard to come by. Employers are especially reluctant to hire someone with a disability.
We are also following Joan Browne and Joe Murnen, the people who run Lott Industries. The company faces major challenges as a result of the recession and the loss of Lott’s main contract with Ford. Several states have forced disabled workplaces to close entirely – but this has often led to the disabled staying at home and not working at all. How can Lott bring in new business and also make its workfloor more modern and integrated? Can Lott develop a new model for disabled workplaces - one that can be emulated across the country and across the world?
We also follow Mikey, an adult with a disability who works at a family-owned local restaurant. He has never missed a day of work in twenty-three years. Mikey represents how someone with a disability can excel at a job. But he needed an employer to give him a chance.
Sara, who is blind, is a community outreach specialist for a local Toledo college. She is a strong believer in inclusion – the term used in the disability world to describe how people with disabilities should mix with the non-disabled. She is also the mother of an awesome two year-old!
Together, these dynamic and inspiring individuals will tell the story of disabled work today - the progress that has been made but also the significant advances that still have to take place. If you are someone with a disability, or a parent, friend or advocate for someone with a disability, or just someone who believes that we must do better to treat the disabled like equals - then you will understand why this film is important. Very few films have been made about the working world for the disabled and “A Whole Lott More” aims to address an underreported and underrepresented issue.
We have raised $50000 for the film from two foundations: The Loreen Arbus Foundation and the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation. But that's only enough to take us through some shooting - we need $15000 right away to edit the footage we have shot into a 30-minute piece. We will put this edit on our upcoming website and, very importantly, we will use it to get the attention of major broadcasters who have already expressed an interest in the film.
October is National Disability Awareness Month in the US. We hope you will help us acknowledge that month by making a contribution to the film. We have an awesome list of thank-you gifts – you will get something great back in return for your contribution! And you will be supporting a film that aims to bring a key issue to national and worldwide attention. You will be making a difference!
All contributors will receive regular newsletters detailing how their money is being spent and about how the project is developing. Please feel free to ask us any questions about the project via our contact info on this page. We thank you in advance for supporting this important and fascinating documentary film. TOGETHER WE CAN SHOW THE WORLD A WHOLE LOTT MORE!
Please note that the film has 501c3 Charity Status. ALL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $15,000 goal
seconds to go
Sep 25, 2010 - Oct 31, 2010
Pledge $5 or more
You will receive a thank you credit on our upcoming website: www.awholelottmore.com PLEASE NOTE THAT "A WHOLE LOTT MORE" HAS 501c3 STATUS - THAT MEANS THAT ALL PLEDGES ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!
Pledge $12 or more
For rewards we want to give donors an awesome piece of art made by an artist with developmental disabilities at Shared Lives Studio, an affiliate of Lott Industries. Each item comes with a photo and a description of the artist who made it. (Please note non-US residents may need to pay a little extra for shipping). For a pledge of $12 or more, you will receive a bright and cheery 'Be Happy' pin, made by an artist with developmental disabilities at Shared Lives Studio and a thank you credit on the website.
Pledge $25 or more
You will receive a “Be Happy” print made by an artist with developmental disabilities and a thank you credit on the website.
Pledge $50 or more
You will receive a mosaic star made out of recycled glass by an artist with developmental disabilities – because you’re a star for supporting this movie! And, or course, a big thank you – at a ‘star’ level - on our website.
Pledge $75 or more
You will receive a star, a thank you credit – at a ‘star’ level - on our website and a DVD of the film when it is completed.
Pledge $100 or more
You will receive a “Hallelujah”, “Be Happy”, or “A Whole Lott More” print signed by the artist, a DVD of the film signed by the director AND a thank you credit – at a ‘star’ level - on the website.
Pledge $250 or more
You will receive a collection of 3 stars (all are one of a kind - just like you ☺), a signed DVD of the film when it is completed and a thank you credit IN THE FILM and on the website. Your contribution gets you a legitimate credit on an important and socially conscious documentary film!
Pledge $500 or more
You will receive a limited edition art print, 5 unique mosaic stars, a signed DVD of the film and a thank you credit IN THE FILM and on the website. Your contribution gets you a legitimate credit on an important and socially conscious documentary film! REMEMBER - ALL PLEDGES NO MATTER WHAT AMOUNT ARE TAX-DEDECTIBLE.
Pledge $1,000 or more
You will receive an original painting of you, painted from a photograph by an artist with developmental disabilities in addition to everything listed at the $500 level.
Pledge $5,000 or more
You wlll receive a full guest package that will allow you to host a screening of the film in your home. This includes a Q&A with the director via skype following the screening plus gifts for 50 guests. We would also send you an information pack about how your guests can help get involved in the issue of work for the disabled. You would also receive everything listed in the $500 level package, including a ‘Special Thanks’ credit in the film and on the main page of the website. You also receive two invitations to the film’s premiere. Or You or your company will get a special credit in the film, ‘Generously Supported by’ and will be able to display a logo or a dedication at the end of the film and on the website. Your contribution gets you a legitimate credit on an important and socially conscious documentary and it shows the world that your company supports the rights of people with disabilities. You also receive two invitations to the film’s premiere. REMEMBER ALL PLEDGES ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE
Pledge $10,000 or more
Director Victor Buhler will fly in to shoot, direct and edit a touching five-minute documentary profile of any person of the donor's choosing. (Airfare not included!). You will also receive a limited edition print, 5 unique stars, and a signed DVD of the film. You or your company will get a ‘Generously Supported by’ credit in the film. You will also be able to display a logo and a dedication in the end credits of the film. Your company’s information will be included in all material we send out during our outreach campaign. You will also receive four invitations to the film’s premiere. REMEMBER ALL PLEDGES ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE