Photojournalist and Documentary Filmmaker Dan Habib Joins IOD Staff

The Institute on Disability is pleased to welcome Dan Habib, director of the award-winning documentary film Including Samuel, as Filmmaker in Residence. After spending the last 20 years of his career as a photojournalist, most recently as the photo editor for the Concord Monitor, Habib is making the career change to pursue his passion: creating documentary films focusing on the critical issues at the intersection of disability and contemporary society.

Shortly after their son Samuel was born with cerebral palsy, both Habib and his wife Betsy attended the IOD's NH Leadership Series, a seven-month program which supports self-advocacy and leadership skills for individuals with disabilities and their family members who wish to affect change at personal, community, and statewide levels. Habib now credits his drive to focus on and work toward Samuel's inclusion to his time spent at the NH Leadership Series. His film and personal labor of love—Including Samuel—grew out of this passion.

"We are certain that Dan will have an enormous impact on the IOD's overall ability to conduct outreach and to influence new audiences about the value of including all people in family, school, and community life," said Mary Schuh, the IOD's Associate Director of Development and Consumer Affairs. "His film has already touched tens of thousands of lives."

Habib will spend the next year promoting Including Samuel throughout New Hampshire and nationally. Afterward, he plans to continue making films on disability related topics.

Since its debut in November 2007, Including Samuel has received national acclaim. The film, which examines the educational and social inclusion of youth with disabilities, is built on the Habib family's efforts to include Samuel in all facets of their lives, a journey that transforms each of them. Including Samuel also features four other families with varied inclusion experiences, plus interviews with teachers, parents, students, and disability rights experts.

Including Samuel has won the annual Positive Images in Media award from TASH, an international group committed to the full inclusion of people with disabilities, and was named Best Documentary at the 2007 Somewhat North of Boston Film Festival. Including Samuel has also been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, as well as in the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. Exceptional Parent Magazine called it a "must see" film.

For more information on Including Samuel, including screening dates and DVD sales, please visit

© 2007 Institute on Disability