Free Film Screening and Q&A Session: "Deej"

About the Film: 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 autistics, he embraces filmmaking and poetry, and discovers what having a voice can truly mean.

In this first-of-its-kind collaboration between a veteran filmmaker and a nonspeaking autistic, Robert Rooy and DJ Savarese share editorial control as they attempt to navigate the challenges of representing autism. Deej, the result of this often difficult partnership, is a story told largely from the inside, by DJ – not by his parents or autism experts or even the camera. At its core, Deej reflects the sort of participation that disability rights advocates insist upon: “Nothing about us without us.”

Q&A Session: DJ Savarese will be available for audience questions immediately following the screening.

Refreshments: Light refreshments will be served from 5:30 - 6:00 pm.

Accommodations: Please email requests to: Please Note: This is a scent free event. Please refrain from wearing scented products.

Sponsored by: The Office of Developmental Primary Care, UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine, Committee on Disability Inclusion, and the Disability Advocacy and Support Group.

Friday, October 11, 2019 at 5:30pm to 8:00pm

School of Nursing, N225 513 Parnassus Avenue, SF

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Postdocs, Faculty, Staff, Local Community, Alumni, Patients





Department of Family and Community Medicine


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