The Disability Community's Fight for Recognition on the Campaign Trail
Daniel Kuhn, SPA/MPA ’16
In February 2016, 40 American University students spent a week in New Hampshire during the presidential primary working to tell stories from the campaign trail. We interviewed voters and candidates, and filmed short documentaries about important issues for the 2016 election. Students learned about what it takes to film a documentary, and the process that goes in, from interviewing voters, candidates and activists, shooting b-roll, developing scripts, making edits, and recording narration.
I met a group of advocates with disabilities at a town hall event in New Hampshire. I was surprised to learn that people with disabilities total 56 million people in the United States. This group had been following the candidates around the country, from the first Republican debate in Cleveland, to Iowa for the caucuses, and finally to New Hampshire for the primary. Their goal was to teach presidential hopefuls about the issues facing people with disabilities. They wanted to make sure that the candidates heard their stories, were thinking about the challenges facing the disability community, and could develop solutions in turn. I was inspired by their passion and knew I wanted to tell their story.
Snapchat Dispatches from the Campaign Trail
Daniel Kuhn, SPA/MPP ’16, takes to Snapchat as he reports live from New Hampshire