People with Disabilities Star in Zombie Movie Premiering at Bedford Playhouse

Director Carol Ochs, direct support professional Madelyn Toledo, Ken Reedy, supervisor of curriculum and workforce development; and Amy Sigona, associate director, corporate partnerships, advancement & communications, pose for a photo during the filming. Photo by Laurie Silver Lewis, direct support professional

Christopher Daniels, a YAI day habilitation program attendee in Tarrytown, noticed that he never saw people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) on the big screen. Shortly after Daniels shared his observation with staff, the Tarrytown team supported him to make a short movie about a zombie apocalypse called “Shh They’re Coming,” starring people with I/DD and some staff. 

Professional filmmaker Josh Adler worked with the group in Tarrytown to film the zombie movie, which he is included in a larger documentary about the zombie movie’s making. The film also touches on how society listens (or doesn’t listen) to the voices of people with disabilities.  

“We heard what Chris was telling us and really wanted to make this happen for him, so we started writing the script and casting different characters in the movie while helping the people we support go over their lines,” said Ebony Hartwell, a Direct Support Professional (DSP) who headed the project with Mark Grant, another DSP at the day hab.   

Luz Macias is ready to take on some zombies. Photo by Laurie Silver Lewis, direct support professional

Now, a year later, the film will be premiering on Monday, June 17 at 7pm at the Bedford Playhouse, located at 633 Old Post Road, Bedford, NY. The stars of the film will walk the red carpet prior to the premiere.  

“People tend to overlook people with disabilities, but now we are saying they are here and can do so much more than what is stereotypically depicted of them in media,” said Grant.  

“They have hobbies and likes, and the way their faces light up when they are doing what they want to do is the biggest reward for us,” added Hartwell.   

 The movie was mainly shot with an iPhone at the Tarrytown Day Habilitation building and at Horsefeathers, a local restaurant in town.  

To learn more and get a glimpse of this incredible movie, watch the preview here.

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