Watch the Beyond Inclusion:
Behind the Scenes Video

Watch Melissa Yingst-Huber interview Chris Soukup about the Beyond Inclusion Film.

Society is becoming more inclusive. What would it look like to go beyond inclusion?

When talking about diversity…are people with disabilities included?

Do people with disabilities have their own culture?

Should Deaf people and people with disabilities work together?

Do you want to find cures for disabilities?

Start the Conversation


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Beyond Inclusion is a short fictional film that takes place in the near future. The word “disability” has been replaced with “human diversity,” and innovations in technology make it possible for meaningful connections between all people. Even with these advances in laws and technology, it may not be enough. Will our culture change? Will certain groups of people still be “cured” or removed? Or are we strong enough to stand together, to fight for and preserve all kinds of human diversity?

Why did CSD make the film?

Today, medical researchers are working to find cures for disabilities. These “cures” are to get rid of people that aren’t “perfect” or “desirable.” With a predicted cure for Deafness within five years, the ability for parents to genetically engineer their own children will be possible. But … what happens when we pursue this sort of “perfection”? What kind of world will we create?

And more importantly, what are we giving up?

We are at a time where we need to consider the future. Do we want a world where differences are celebrated and embraced? Or a world where “disability” is engineered out because it isn’t understood or valued?

The world is limitless when it comes to innovative new technology. Unfortunately, universal design — or, design that takes into account people that are deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind, blind or differently-abled — is usually an afterthought. But what if it wasn’t? What if instead of trying to “fix” people with disabilities, we just started designing our world in a way where everyone can access everything — universally, by design and on purpose?

Could we create a world without barriers? Could we go beyond inclusion?

“Beyond Inclusion” was made to start conversations. Everyone has the right to be themselves, to choose how they want to interact in the world. But, we are coming to a time where we will be forced to make decisions about our way of life. At CSD, we believe that defending the right to choose our own identity is a responsibility that belongs to all of us, the entire community. We have to come together to decide what kind of world we want to build, what kind of future we want to give to our children.

We are better together than we are apart. We ask you to join the conversation. What kind of tomorrow do you want to create?

Why are there several million-dollar efforts to cure different kinds of "disabilities"?

What will we lose if all "disabilities" are cured?

ADA doesn't protect people with disabilities from being genetically removed, should there be a law that does?

Does the word "disability" help the conversation…or does it confuse?

Does the word “disability” need replacement?

Share your thoughts

What words do you use to identify yourself? Do you think the words you choose for yourself matter? Do you fear that choosing the wrong word to describe yourself might mean you don’t get the job? We want to know.

Behind the Scenes

Marisa (Laura Tollin) pumps her fist in victory at the Capital. Cinematographers Ruan du Plessis and Bradley Gantt capture the action.
Laura Tollin listens for directions on how to navigate through the next shot.
Nyle DiMarco pauses to reflect between takes. Cinematographers Bradley Gantt and Ruan du Plessis wait for next instructions.
Signs and flags ready for the political rally scene.
Director Ryan Commerson tells Nyle DiMarco what he needs to see happen during the next shot.
Director Ryan Commerson and Co-Director Lauren Kinsler check the dailies while an assistant looks on.
The lights are hot, the camera is rolling, and the scene is about to start as Director Ryan Commerson looks at the monitor.
The clapboard kicks off the start to Take 4 of Scene 32 in the cafe as Katie Folger prepares to deliver her lines as Tavi.
Sound Recordist Nikki Dengel adjusts sound levels to ensure the highest quality recording.
Ash (Nyle DiMarco) emphasizes a point while Tavi (Katie Folger) listens.
Tavi listens with some skepticism as Ash attempts to convince her of his view on things.
Nyle DiMarco and Katie Folger practice their lines while the camera movement is established.
Katie Folger soaks in the sunlight streaming in from a nearby window on a break between takes.
Tavi (Katie Folger) listens while Ash (Nyle DiMarco) is ready to deliver his lines. Director of Photography Ruan du Plessis prepares to bring the camera up to conversation level.
Laura Tollin practices her move up to the position where she will deliver a speech, with cinematographers Ruan du Plessis and Bradley Gantt right behind her.
A crowd of supporters hold up signs for Marisa’s candidacy for Senate in the year 2020.
Laura Tollin is prepped by makeup artist Jessie Miranda
Director of Photography Ruan du Plessis sets up the dynamic opening shot of the gavel striking the block.
Marisa pronounces her latest legislative victory and savors the moment as the crowd cheers her on.
Nguyen Stanton and Larry Smith practice lines for their scene.
Meet real-life father-and-son team Anthony M. Johnson, Junior and Senior.
Tavi and Ash converse while Carter and his dad do homework together.
Director of Photography Ruan du Plessis greenlights the placement of an object to be moved into frame.
Sound Recordist Nikki Dengel checks the quality of the recording as the scene plays out.
Katie Folger confers with Director Ryan Commerson on a script question.
Makeup artist Micaela Paulone touches up her work on Nyle DiMarco’s face.
Lauren Kinsler being interviewed
Laura Tollin practices her move up to the position where she will deliver a speech, with camera operators Ruan du Plessis and Bradley Gantt right behind her.
Director of Photography Ruan du Plessis checks the framing of the next shot in the cafe scene.
A group of human diversity supporters cheers on while Director of Photography Ruan du Plessis records.

Media Contact

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Filmed in Austin, Texas by Communication Service for the Deaf, Beyond Inclusion was shot and edited by a predominantly Deaf production team. Check out the video to see behind the scenes.

  • Ryan Commerson, Writer & Director
  • Lauren Kinsler, Co-Director
  • Toj Mora, Producer
  • Ruan du Plessis, Director of Photography
  • Bradley Gantt, Editor
  • Nikki Dengel, Sound Person