Longmore Institute Advises Professor Cunningham on 'Crutch' Documentary

July 6, 2015

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW -- Now, he’s the subject of a documentary, “Crutch,” co-directed by Sachi Cunningham, a Pittsburgh native and assistant professor of multimedia journalism at San Francisco State University. Emily Smith Beitiks, a professor and associate director of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State, advised Cunningham about ways to avoid cliches during the filmmaking. The institute is a think tank dedicated to changing perceptions about disabilities. “Part of the challenge is overcoming the way most people think about medical devices, like crutches, that are deeply stigmatized,” Beitiks said. “The story being told is more along the lines of how Bill took a crutch and made it his own — almost like an item of clothing. He is doing all of these tricks and dance moves out of inspiration of his disability and creativity.”