Deej, America ReFramed

Deej, America ReFramed

Sat, 01/14/2023 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm


A nonspeaking young man dreams of autistic civil rights.

Deej, airing Saturday, January 14 at 5 p.m. on WXXI-TV, offers an insider view of autism and challenges us all to live inclusion. Abandoned by his birth parents and unable to speak for himself, DJ Savarese ("Deej") found not only a loving family but also a life in words, which he types on a text-to-voice synthesizer. As he makes his way through high school and dreams of college, he confronts the terrors of his past, obstacles to inclusion, and the sometimes paralyzing beauty of his own senses. In his advocacy on behalf of other nonspeaking autistics, he embraces filmmaking and poetry, and discovers what having a voice can truly mean.

This screening event is part of Dialogue on Disability, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies - in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series. The weeklong initiative, which runs January 9-15, is designed to stimulate community dialogue about the perspectives and abilities of people with physical, developmental, and intellectual disabilities. Dialogue on Disability is supported by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation with additional support from The Golisano Foundation.