Plain Jane: The Shockumentary is no normal documentary about a woman with disabilities. Because Jane Hash is no ordinary woman.
Jane was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition which is manifested by extremely brittle bones. At birth, Jane had twenty-six broken bones and was not expected to live three hours. By the time she was in high school, she had broken two hundred bones. But she doesn’t want your sympathy nor does she want praise for making it through her daily routine. As she says, “I don’t have a degree in sitting on my ass.” What Jane wants is for you to see those with disabilities differently. To see them as people first, not as a resource for what activist Stella Young calls “Inspirational Porn” or as weaklings who need to be rescued.
This is not a story of coping with a disease. Jane’s story is about an empowered woman living the life she chooses, making films, starting companies like Classy Little Fashions, and leading a fun and adventurous life. Jane is inspirational not because of her disease but because of her message of acceptance, the courage to try new things, and the desire to live life to the fullest.
Debra knew that her daughter Sara was bound for great things. But no one else seemed to agree. Not the doctors who said she would never speak or walk. Not her teachers who thought her best hope was becoming a bagger at a supermarket. Debra and Sara knew differently and now Sara in her 20’s has been named one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Richmond Virginia and has spoken to groups around the world. Sara also has Down syndrome.
Sara and her story have affected those near and far to her changing the course of their lives. One person thus affected is her mother Debra who wrote in The Mobility Resource, “I believe that God does not make mistakes when a child with Down syndrome is born. Instead many people with Down syndrome are great teachers – if we stop and listen to their wisdom. Disabilities are part of life. We need to embrace the lessons that we are taught by our abilities and disabilities.” Debra’s experience not only affected her viewpoint on life, but also her career.
In an effort to show all her daughter and others with disabilities are capable of, Sara founded TecAccess which helps businesses ensure their products and websites are truly usable by those with disabilities by hiring individuals with disabilities to test them. The world of marketing has advanced to include many different ethnicities in their marketing and product development, yet the community of people with disabilities (PwD) is largely underserved. It is TecAccess and Ruh Global’s goals to give PwD more of a voice in the marketplace and the world.