Humanities in Medicine Program

All are welcome!

Autism and Communication:  
A Non-Verbal Autistic Individual Finds his Voice Through Poetry
A story of hope, determination and resilience in the fight for respect and inclusion.
Watch the film, DEEJ , a documentary written and produced by its subject, DJ Savarese , at your convenience (prior to April 14, 5pm), and then join us for a discussion and debrief, moderated by Joseph Weiner, MD , Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Medicine and Science Education, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.
Abandoned by his birth parents and presumed incompetent, DJ Savarese (“Deej”) found not only a loving family but also a life in words, which he types on a text-to-voice synthesizer. As he makes his way through high school and dreams of college, he confronts the terrors of his past, society's obstacles to inclusion, and the sometimes paralyzing beauty of his own senses. In his advocacy on behalf of other nonspeaking autistic individuals, he embraces filmmaking and poetry, and discovers what having a voice can truly mean.
Watch at your leisure, and join us, if you are able,
for an online discussion and debrief:
Discussion and Debrief
TUESDAY, April 14, 2020
via ZOOM
Click below to register for the discussion. You will then receive a ZOOM Invite Link and information about joining the discussion.
Even if you cannot join the discussion,
you are welcome to watch this inspiring film!
To access the film, click the "Watch the Film" button and use the password: BEING_INCLUDED
"…a brilliant, moving and innovative film – providing deep insight into DJ’s experience and his 'quest for freedom' for all individuals with disabilities. Inspiring, thought-provoking…Deej is a film worth watching for anyone, including those of us who provide support for individuals with disabilities."

Eric Zigman
Executive Director, Golden Gate Regional Center
San Francisco, CA
"I won the lottery when my parents adopted me from foster care; I won it again when they included me in regular education. Now, I seek to help kids much less fortunate than I by showing people what a nonspeaking student with autism can do.

In Deej, the camera intrudes on every aspect of my life. If seeing truly is believing, then perhaps eyes can be opened to the full potential of kids with significant disabilities. Shot over a six-year period, Deej reveals not only what the ideal of full inclusion requires but also what it can accomplish."

                     – DJ Savarese
Author, Producer and Subject