Reviews & Feedback

The Media

“The most remarkable participant is Chris, a young man who was mislabeled as profoundly mentally retarded before being diagnosed with cerebral palsy. After years of having no means of communication, Chris is given the tools that enable his thoughts to be heard—and his insight is so dramatic that project organizer and director Richard Reho elevates him to the position of co-director. In a heartbreaking sequence, Reho liberates Chris from his wheelchair and carefully cradles him on the ground, evoking a poignant reaction from Chris (one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever seen in a nonfiction film)…[a] daring attempt to address—and correct—harsh stereotypes regarding the developmentally disabled, this is highly recommended.”
– Video Librarian, February 2012


“This beautifully successful plea for the inclusive arts movement is strongly recommended for collections serving special populations and those in the arts. Difficult to forget, it should offer inspiration for parents and teachers of special needs children.”
– Library Journal, August 2011


“A  surprising, beautifully made, heartfelt story.  This film takes the life of a person some would over look and lifts it up in a simple and elegant film.
I highly recommend this to teachers, administrators, and people working in the arts. Parents and family members will see their own journey reflected in this well crafted film.”
– Alice Elliott, director, The Collector of Bedford Street and Body and Soul


“Its passionate argument for inclusion and respect make it a powerful piece of advocacy.”
– The Independent Weekly, Durham, NC, October 21, 2009



University and School Educators

A New Kind of Listening is a rare film that deepens our understanding of what it means to be human and that compels us to widen the circle so that we learn from and with a rich variety of humans with whom we inhabit this earth. Clearly, this film will be instructive and supportive in many learning and community contexts, including for practicing education, medical and human service professionals, pre-service and graduate programs for teachers, social workers, school psychologists, Allied Arts teachers, community education programs and many others.”
– Jennifer York-Barr, Ph.D., Professor, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, Academy of Distinguished Teachers, U. of Minnesota


A  New Kind of Listening is a very powerful tool that challenges assumptions and stereotypes associated with having a disability. I use this film in my teaching and training to validate the significant importance of recognizing each person as a unique and capable individual.  One of the great gifts and messages of the film is that it reinforces the notion that, regardless of the barriers, we must actively seek and support possibilities and opportunities for all people.”
– Chris Egan, Executive Director, North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities


A New Kind of Listening is a unique media resource that I recommend to university professors teaching theatre education and community arts courses. Protecting and nurturing human diversity in all its forms is essential to creating just and sustainable communities. This film demonstrates that listening is more than something we do with our ears but with our hearts and hands. I know it has motivated me and my students to make choices that keep us open to all the creative potential in our classrooms.”
– Lise Kloeppel, Assistant Professor of Drama, UNC-Asheville


“Seeing A New Kind of Listening changed my approach to teaching students with disabilities.  As an art educator, I have a deeper understanding that I cannot make assumptions or have my own expectations for students with disabilities, but that first I need to be more present and truly hear what they have to say.  Then I can better help them express their innate and unique creativity.”
Laura Norris, Art Educator, North Buncombe Middle School, Weaverville, NC, 2014-15  Teacher of the Year, NC Art Education Association


“After viewing A New Kind of Listening, I was moved, inspired and enlightened. As a professor of Special Education deeply involved in teacher preparation and professional development, I feel strongly that every teacher in training and every professional operating in the field of Education should see this powerful, insightful film. I use  this valuable, multi-use resource in my classes and have strongly recommended it to hundreds of my colleagues in Education.”
– Lou Brown, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Special Education, U. of Wisconsin


A New Kind of Listening is a memorable demonstration of the possibilities for community inclusion. I was moved by the social connections and meaningful interactions between the group members with and without disabilities. I recommend this film as a media resource for those in the arts and education.”
– Zachary S. Rossetti, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Special Education Program, Boston U.



Leaders in the Field of Inclusion and Disability Rights

“TASH is an international organization seeking equity, opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities. A New Kind of Listening was selected for the 2010 TASH Positive Images in the Media Award because it demonstrates new possibilities for community inclusion, communication and friendship. A New Kind of Listening is a valuable film for educators, students and service providers in the disability field.”
– Barb Trader, Exec. Director, TASH


“As a passionate advocate for school inclusion, I know it’s crucial for students with disabilities to join inclusive communities when they become adults. A New Kind of Listening shows a practical, positive way to build more inclusive communities, one small arts project at a time. It should be required viewing for all student teachers.  I  strongly recommend this film as a media resource for all education professors and students.”
– Dan Habib, Director of “Including Samuel” and Filmmaker in Residence, University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability


A New Kind of Listening shows that any form of expression, no matter how arduous or limited, can make a remarkable difference to the lives of people without speech.”
– Rosemary Crossley, Ph.D, Director, DEAL Communication Center (Anne McDonald Centre), Melbourne, Australia, and author of  Speechless.




A New Kind of Listening will have a powerful impact on the advocacy and education efforts of your Center for Independent Living. Even seasoned advocates will realize new possibilities for deeper relationships and more inclusive communities through the arts.”
– Rene Cummins, Exec. Director, Alliance of Disability Advocates CIL, Raleigh, NC


“I have watched many ‘expanding inclusive arts’ efforts come about over the years, yet it seems that the glue to really getting it off the ground this time was the showing of the documentary and the community dialogue and events that followed. I was very glad to be a part of this.”
– Roxann Colwell, Family Support Network of Western  NC


A New Kind of Listening powerfully demonstrates the way art enables people to blast apart the labels and limitations that get slapped on them and to evoke the creativity and life force that is at their core.”
– Kate Savannah, Artist and Advocate, Asheville, NC

“Each one of us who live with a disability have our unique challenges, but the hope lies in our abilities.  The sounds of silence have never been heard more loudly than in this inspirational work of art.”
– Nancy Fudge, Mental Health Advocate and Consultant




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