Iowa PBS to provide special programming to break stereotypes of individuals with disabilities

National Move to Include initiative kicks off this July

July marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. In commemoration of its passing, Iowa PBS is launching Move to Include, a national initiative that uses the power of public media to inform and transform attitudes and behavior about inclusion.

Iowa PBS will provide special programming throughout July that spotlights people with differing abilities and disability issues including education, healthcare, housing, recreation, employment and advocating for positive change. The statewide network will work to organize community partnerships, acquire and create content, and provide outreach, engagement and promotion for the initiative. Iowa PBS will also contribute content to the PBS LearningMedia collection used by teachers, families and students free of charge.

“People with disabilities make up our single largest minority in this country,” explains Iowa PBS Executive Director and General Manager Molly Phillips. “Through Move to Include, we hope to build a more inclusive Iowa by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life.”

The premiere broadcast of July’s Move to Include programs on Iowa PBS’s primary channel are listed below. A complete schedule can be found online at

Iowa PBS Productions

  • Accessibility Now — Monday, July 20 at 8 p.m. Hear from Iowans with disabilities as they talk about how the Americans with Disabilities Act has helped improve their lives and how they continue to face barriers to equality.

  • Iowa Ingredient: Plums — Thursday, July 2 at 6:30 p.m. In this episode, Iowa Ingredient explores how Look, Cook, and Eat, a digital how-to cooking magazine designed for people with disabilities, helps promote an independent lifestyle.

  • Iowa Outdoors — Wednesday, July 8 at 6:30 p.m. This special episode of Iowa Outdoors shares the stories of people working to help those with disabilities enjoy the outdoors.

  • Iowa Press Special: Americans with Disabilities Act — Monday, July 20 at 8:30 p.m. David Yepsen hosts a discussion on the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its impact on public policy and American society.

  • The Life Autistic Documentary — Monday, July 13 at 8 p.m. Iowans with autism illustrate the nuances of The Life Autistic in this two-hour broadcast special. Host Tyler Leech, a member of Iowa’s community of people with autism, guides viewers through all 12 stories from the original Iowa PBS web series.

Iowa PBS Shorts

  • Greetings From Iowa: Autumn Weaver — Thursday, July 2 at 7:45 p.m. Born profoundly deaf, Autumn Weaver uses art, performance and self expression to connect with and advocate for members of her community all over the world. 

  • Iowa Ingredient: Look, Cook, and Eat — Thursday, July 9 at 7:54 p.m. Iowa Ingredient explores how Look, Cook, and Eat, a digital how-to cooking magazine designed for people with disabilities, helps promote an independent lifestyle.

  • Iowa Outdoors: All Ability Cycles — Thursday, July 2 at 7:55 p.m. Traditionally, bicycle means two wheels and pedals, but for those living with a disability longing to blaze a trail, their cycles can take on all types of adaptive shapes and sizes.

  • Iowa Outdoors: Casting Away Disabilities — Thursday, July 9 at 7:44 p.m. While many challenges can keep people of all ages from enjoying the outdoors, one Iowa organization provides the perfect venue for veterans with disabilities to share in the beauty of the outdoors.

  • Iowa Outdoors: Camp Courageous — Thursday, July 16 at 7:53 p.m. This year-round camp near Monticello gives campers of all ages and abilities a chance to get away and challenge themselves outdoors.

  • Market to Market: Alec Gotto: Cattleman — Thursday, July 23 at 7:45 p.m. Alec Gotto of Dyersville, Iowa, is a cattleman. As an infant, he lost the ability to use his arms and legs due to transverse myelitis. Now 14 years old, Gotto has overcome the constraints of this illness to follow his passion of raising cattle.

  • Market to Market: Nothing’s Going to Stop Me — An innovative program helps Iowans get back to work and reorder their lives after serious accidents.

  • Stella From Pella and Her Magic Shoe — Friday, July 10 at 11:53 a.m. Enjoy a reading of the story of a young girl from Pella, Iowa, who defies the odds and is given a special gift that will put a smile on your face.

National Programs

  • America ReFramed: Deej — Tuesday, July 7 at 10 p.m. Once considered a “profoundly disabled” foster kid, DJ Savarese is a gifted young writer and advocate for non-speaking autistics. 

  • America ReFramed: Enter the Faun — Friday, July 3 at 9:30 p.m. A young actor with cerebral palsy and a dancer undergo physical transformations when they challenge the limitations of disability. 

  • America ReFramed: Intelligent Lives — Tuesday, July 28 at 10 p.m. Follow three young adults with disabilities as they work toward a future marked with increased inclusion and independence. 

  • America ReFramed: Perfectly Normal for Me — Tuesday, July 14 at 10 p.m. Young people with physical disabilities prepare for a dance recital and become advocates for the powers of inclusion, respect and empathy. 

  • America ReFramed: Vision Portraits — Tuesday, July 21 at 10 p.m. Acclaimed director Rodney Evans takes viewers on a personal journey as he ponders how the deterioration of his vision will impact his life and work as a filmmaker. 

  • Chef Darren: The Challenge of Profound Deafness — Friday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. Chef Darren Weiss was born deaf. With determination, he learned to speak and became a father, a teacher and the chef at his own trend-setting Los Angeles restaurant. 

  • From the Wings: The Live Art Story — Sunday, July 26 at 3:30 p.m. A group of children with varying abilities come together to create an unprecedented performance. 

  • Hawking — Wednesday, July 15 at 10 p.m. Trace Stephen Hawking’s great scientific discoveries and his rise to fame and superstardom.

  • Hearts of Glass — Wednesday, July 15 at 9 p.m. Vertical Harvest is a year-round urban farm in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that is working to address pressing issues around local food production, inclusion and opportunity.

  • Men Caring — Friday, July 10 at 6:30 p.m. In a field traditionally held by women, these compassionate men tell personal stories of how they were inspired to become caregivers for adults with disabilities.

  • POV: Still Tomorrow — Sunday, July 12 at 11 p.m. Breakout writer Yu Xihua, a woman with cerebral palsy, has become China’s most famous poet.

  • POV: Swim Team — Sunday, July 5 at 11 p.m. Parents of teens on the autism spectrum form a swim team and train the teens with high expectations. 

  • Reel South: Driven Blind — Friday, July 3 at 6:30 p.m. When world champion drag racer Dan Parker is blinded in a fiery racing accident, he must adjust to his new reality. 

  • Reel South: Jonah Stands Up — Sunday, July 26 at 1:30 p.m. Jonah Bascle challenges stereotypes associated with differently abled individuals in New Orleans. 

  • Roadtrip Nation: The Next Mission — Sunday, July 5 at 1 p.m. Follow three veterans as they journey cross-country to seek out fellow service members who have successfully transitioned into the workforce. 

  • Signing Black in America — Sunday, July 26 at 11 p.m. Explore the history and development of Black American Sign Language, a vibrant dialect that mirrors spoken language varieties of the African American hearing community. 

  • Touching the Sound — Friday, July 3 at 8:30 p.m. Undeterred by his lifelong blindness, pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii has become a remarkable musician. 

Children’s Programs

  • Arthur: When Carl Met George — Thursday, July 2 at 3:30 p.m. George spends time with his new friend, Carl, who has Asperger's Syndrome. 

  • Arthur: Go Fly a Kite — Friday, July 17 at 3:30 p.m. While playing in the park, Binky, Muffy and Ladonna stumble upon an abandoned kite. In the end, they find the owner — it's Carl, who has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism that makes him see the world differently than most people.

  • Arthur: Carl's Concerto — Tuesday, July 28 at 3:30 p.m. Carl, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, has agreed to play the accordion for George's puppet show, but his routines are getting in the way of rehearsals. 

  • Dinosaur Train: Junior Conductors Academy — Friday, July 10 at 11 a.m. Buddy and his siblings become friends with a dinosaur who knows a lot more about dinosaurs than Buddy, but has some trouble making friends.

  • Dinosaur Train: Dennis Comes to Visit — Friday, July 24 at 11 a.m.  When the kids all went to Junior Conductor's Academy, they met Dennis Deinocheirus, a brilliant and autistic theropod who was the first dinosaur kid who knew more dino facts than Buddy! Now, Dennis fulfills a promise and has come to visit Buddy and the kids at Pteranodon Terrace.

  • Peg + Cat: The Straight and Narrow Problem — Monday, July 6 at noon. In this episode, Peg sings a song about “living with other shapes,” which encourages kids to try and get along with others even if they are different.

  • Peg + Cat: The Polka Dot Planet Problem — Monday, July 20 at noon. When Peg's space ship breaks down, she needs the help of a new friend who communicates without speaking.

  • Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: I am Helen Keller — Friday, July 3 at 8 a.m. Helen Keller teaches Yadina that there are many different ways to learn.

Iowa PBS joins PBS affiliates WFYI (Indianapolis), OPB (Oregon), WGCU (Southwest Florida) and WCNY (Syracuse) in this national endeavor, led by WXXI Public Media (Rochester, NY). Move to Include was launched in 2014 as a local partnership between WXXI and the Golisano Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation devoted to supporting programs for people with intellectual disabilities. The Foundation has provided more than $1 million in funding to date for Move to Include in Rochester. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) awarded the initiative a $645,000 grant to help expand the multimedia initiative to these five public media organizations over 16 months. The stations are creating programming to meet their community needs while expanding awareness regionally and nationally. 

“Public media’s mission is to make high-quality programming free and accessible to all, and Move to Include is an important part of ensuring inclusion for people with disabilities,” said Pat Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “CPB is proud to support this effort by local public media stations to strengthen our civil society by building more inclusive communities.”

To learn more about this initiative and the work of all six stations, visit

Viewers can find Iowa PBS programs and extras on their favorite video platform with the PBS Video App,, Facebook or YouTube, or stream Iowa PBS .1 live on YouTube TV. The PBS Video App is available on iOS and Android devices, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast.