Against All Odds


To coincide with National Autism Month and Cystic Fibrosis Week (24-30 June 2013), Community Channel will be showcasing a season of titles throughout April in order to celebrate the inspirational individuals who have overcome mental or physical setbacks. During the month, we will be championing the triumph of the human spirit in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity.



Monday 8 April at 22:00 - Watch Again
At only 29, Tim LaFollette was diagnosed with ALS, a form of motor neurone disease. Through the eyes of girlfriend Kaylan and his legion of friends, the Often Awesome Army, this heart-wrenching series charts his battle. A story of love, friendship, strength and courage, Tim’s journey strikes a poignant chord in the fight to raise awareness of ALS – a disease that, in Tim’s own words, "sucks".
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Tuesday 9 April at 21:00
In 2008, model and TV presenter Katie Piper was the victim of a horrific attack that left her with severe facial disfigurement. After a long period of mental and physical rehabilitation, Katie has now successfully rebuilt her life. In this inspirational series, Katie uses her personal experience in order to help others who are themselves fighting for normality while coming to terms with living with a disfigurement.
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Monday 15 April at 21:00 - Watch Again
The WRITE reason is a documentary that explores the work of three published authors writing about their mental health experiences. Through creative sound and visuals, the film expresses their private worlds in an accessible and public space. It shows how writing helps three ordinary, but very different people cope with their problems and dispels common misconceptions about mental health issues.
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Unstoppable AthletesTHE UNSTOPPABLES
Monday 15 April at 21:35 - Watch Again
An inspirational film documenting the story of passionate and socially committed cyclists who call themselves the Pirates Team. We head to Barcelona Velodrome to meet the team, who train together in spite of differing abilities and aims. The film follows two narrative threads, with the main one charting the preparation, participation and homecoming of two athletes in the London 2012 Paralympics.
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Tuesday 16 April at 21:00 - Watch Again
This powerful documentary from Awen Productions and made with the help of local people from Cornwall follows the lives of a number of people with autism who making the transition between school, higher education and adult life. Transitions charts the successes, difficulties and barriers faced, as well as highlighting the support and services that are currently available to those with autism.
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Tuesday 16 April at 23:00 - Watch Again
Michael wants a girlfriend but is stuck in the grey zone; Phil and Ali are moving in together; Jo hasn't talked about it since it happened; Anton says it is just a label; and Dan thinks they're ready, but Sue isn't sure - Exploring Relationships is five real life stories commissioned by the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust about relationships and sexuality from people with a learning disability.
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Wednesday 17 April at 21:00 - Watch Again
Spy Hop Productions' documentary Touching Sound is the story of Jarin, a 14-year-old deaf boy who decided to have a cochlear implant fitted - a surgically implanted electronic device providing a sense of sound to people with profound or severe hearing impairments. After the procedure, Jarin finds himself needing to develop his own identity and to explore his place in between opposing cultures.
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Wednesday 17 April at 21:30 - Watch Again
I Dream In Colour is an experimental documentary from Felix Nelson exploring the perception of blind people. We meet six individuals with different sight impairments, who take us on an audio-visual journey that intertwines 3D soundscapes and innovative imagery. This film focuses on sensory perception and provides an exploration of the alternative ways of hearing and seeing.
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Wednesday 17 April at 21:45 - Watch Again
Victor Konovalov was a talented motorcycle rider with a promising career ahead of him when, aged 20, he had an accident while practicing that left him paralysed. However, Victor remained determined to make something of his life despite requiring the use of a wheelchair. He became a bodybuilder and, aged 34, won the first of his five NPC National Wheelchair Bodybuilding titles. This is his story.
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Me You Nobody ElseME, YOU, NOBODY ELSE
Thursday 18 April at 21:00 - Watch Again
It is said if you find your best friend, you have found yourself. But some people are unable to find themselves. For individuals with autism, forging friendships is tough. In this film, meet Ivo - a 16-year-old with Asperger's syndrome and a young person who falls victim to aggression and misunderstanding from his peers. However, his mother takes him to hippotherapy where he meets Darcy. 
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Thursday 18 April at 23:30 - Watch Again
JUMPcuts is a creative filmmaking project for people with learning disabilities that worked with a group of actors to produce this drama, based on the actors' personal memories. Graham Spittel's real life encounter with Princess Diana is a primary focus of the film, as well as how Kester Moon - who plays Mark in the production - documented the events in minute detail in a small grey notebook.
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Monday 22 April at 22:00
Katie Piper was a young, beautiful model and budding presenter. But a vicious acid attack in 2008 left her disfigured and her life in tatters. But more than a year on and after a number of operations and physiotherapy sessions, Katie gives up her anonymity to tell her own story. We hear how Katie has come to terms with her scars and successfully rebuilt her life.
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In the following TED Talks, we challenge the perception of what it means to live with a physical or mental disability. Our first talk is from Aimee Mullins, a Paralympic record-breaking sprinter who was born without fibular bones and had both of her legs amputated below the knee while young. Aimee attempts to redefine the word 'disabled' and remove any negative connotations it might have by demonstrating how adversity can open the door to human potential. In our second talk, we meet activist Caroline Casey to challenge our perceptions. Caroline, who put Ireland on the accessibility map and is now changing the global social landscape for people with disabilities, asks us to all move beyond the limits that we think we might have, but actually don't.


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BSL ZoneThe British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT) is a charitable organisation that commissions television programmes made in British Sign Language by Deaf people for deaf people. All of the programmes commissioned are made available to watch on the dedicated BSL Zone player, as well as on Community Channel - be sure to check our schedules for further information on our BSL Zone broadcasts.

BSLBT was first established in 2008 with the approval of regulatory body Ofcom to provide an alternative for commercial broadcasters to meet the requirements to provide sign language programmes on their channels. It also has an extensive outreach initiative that involves deaf communities throughout the UK, including BSL Zone showcases featuring programmes and programme makers.
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Action for Blind PeopleACTION FOR BLIND PEOPLE
Operating at a national level but with a local reach throughout the UK, Action for Blind People is an organisation that provides practical help and support to blind and partially sighted people of all ages. The charity places the needs of nearly 30,000 people at the heart of its work each year, supporting individuals across all areas of everyday life and helping them find the services they need.

Action on Hearing LossACTION ON HEARING LOSS
Action on Hearing Loss - the new name for the Royal National Institute for Deaf People - is dedicated to ensuring that hearing loss no longer limits or labels individuals; where tinnitus is cured; and where people value their hearing. The organisation is striving to provide more support for people with hearing loss and to make sure no-one is isolated as a result of their impairment.

ALS Therapy Development Institute has one important aim and that is to end ALS. It is working to achieve a future where patients no longer die from ALS and where today's patients remain alive, well and enjoying the company of loved ones. It is working to create and lead a collaborative research process, working with patients today and those who have passed away due to ALS.

Ambitious About Autism is a national charity supporting children and young people who have been diagnosed with autism. Through its work, the organisation provides services such as specialist education and support; raises awareness and understanding; and campaigns for change by influencing policy. Its mission is to help children and young people with autism to learn, thrive and achieve.

Since its formation in 1890, the British Deaf Association has focused on the status and recognition of the UK's deaf community and British Sign Language (BSL). It aims to achieve equality for deaf people through community empowerment, membership and campaigning. The BDA works with local deaf and BSL communities to ensure deaf people have the chance to contribute to society.

Changing Faces works with people and families who are living with conditions, marks or scars that affect their appearance. The charity aims to help individuals lead full and confident lives by providing practical and emotional support, as well as training and advice to professionals in health and education. It is also seeking to achieve 'face equality' and transform public perceptions.

Guide Dogs for the Blind and Partially SightedGUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED
Guide Dogs is an organisation that is determined to ensure that blind and partially sighted people are given the opportunity to enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else. It delivers the guide dog service and other mobility services; strives to dismantle legal and physical barriers; and to enable blind and partially-sighted individuals to travel around on their own.

Hoffman Foundation for AutismHOFFMAN FOUNDATION FOR AUTISM
Based in London, the Hoffmann Foundation for Autism is a charity that has worked for more than 60 years to provide a range of specialist services to adults with an Autism Spectrum Condition. The organisation ensures that the individuals it supports are given the chance to receive a personalised service, which is designed to assist them in living a life that is more meaningful to them.

The Katie Piper Foundation is an organisation established by Katie Piper and that is working to achieve a world where scars do not limit a person's function, social inclusion or sense of wellbeing. Through its work, the foundation aims to progress intensive rehabilitation and scar management for burns survivors; provide information on and access to non-surgical treatments; and much more.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) is the sole national charity for England, Wales and Northern Ireland that funds and promotes global research into the condition and provides support to those individuals affected. With nearly 8,000 members, the organisation has a powerful national and local network to offer information and support, as well as fighting for improved services.

The National Autistic Society is the UK's leading charitable organisation dedicated to supporting people affected by autism, including Asperger's syndrome, and their families. It provides information, support and pioneering services that contribute towards its aim of allowing all people living with autism to live the life they choose, as well as campaigning for change and better understanding.

National Deaf Children's SocietyNATIONAL DEAF CHILDREN'S SOCIETY
The National Deaf Children's Society's (NDCS) mission is remove the barriers to the achievement of deaf young people throughout the world. The organisation challenges key decision makers and works with other groups to adopt whatever approach will best fulfil its aims. The NDCS also empowers deaf children and their families to make informed choices and influence decisions that will affect them.

Often Awesome launched in support of ALS sufferer Tim LaFollette, who sought to raise awareness of the condition amid little change in the palliative treatment options available since his grandmother and mother passed away from the disease. After Tim passed away, his friends converted Often Awesome into a non-profit organisation to continue that work. Click here for more information.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is the UK's leading charity offering information, support and advice to nearly 2 million people with sight loss. The organisation has practical ways to help individuals live with sight loss; provides advice on the technology available to assist blind and partially sighted people; and campaigns on behalf of blind people living in the UK.

Scope is working to change society for the better, allowing disabled people and their families to benefit from the same opportunities as everyone else. The organisation offers practical families for those individuals and families, from information services to education and everyday care. Scope also works to influence government policy and strives to create lasting change for the better.

Spinal Research is one of the UK's leading charities funding medical research into developing reliable treatments for paralysis that has been caused by a broken neck or back. Each year in the UK and Ireland, 1,000 people are paralysed due to a spinal injury and the charity aims to raise funding for the research that will lead to clinical treatments, plus basic science research.

Whizz Kidz aims to ensure that every disabled child is given the opportunity to be something special - a kid. With around an estimated 70,000 disabled children and young people across the UK waiting for a wheelchair that meets the needs of their young lives, Whizz-Kidz provides essential wheelchairs and other mobility equipment so that those young people can lead fun and active childhoods.

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