The Sandy Houghton Story

Sandy on the right with MDDC Staff

MetroWest Center for Independent Living did not make this film, and it is 41 minutes long. Sandy’s story is more than a story of a person with disabilities living independently. Her story is one of amazing accomplishments while beating back barriers and experiencing all the messiness of life. Thank you to Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council for creating and sharing this film with us!

From Daniel Shannon, ED at the MA Developmental Disabilities Council:

Sandy Houghton served the MA Developmental Disabilities Council in multiple roles for over 20 years. She was appointed as a citizen member of the Council in the 1990s, where she helped establish our first self-advocacy group, then was selected as the first Barbara Wilensky Gopen Fellow, where she created the original Self-Advocacy Leadership Series. She later served as lead trainer for the Council, teaching the SALS across the Commonwealth, and travelling the country to share the curriculum with others. Sandy retired from the Council in 2016.

A documentary of Sandy’s amazing life premiered on November 10, 2011 at the Landmark Theater in Cambridge, MA. Since then more than 1000 copies of the documentary have been distributed throughout the world. The Council recently had the film remastered and rendered for upload to YouTube. This 40-minute documentary recounts the life of a woman born with severe cerebral palsy, who overcame endless barriers to become a renowned leader in disability advocacy, awareness and education. Sandy was bullied as a child, discriminated against as a parent of a child with a disability, and ignored as a woman of intelligence. This story pieces together the emotional memories and experiences that shaped Sandy’s life, her strength and perseverance, and how she achieved her ultimate goal to teach others how to overcome the obstacles facing a person with a disability.