Documentary about disabled art student shown

A screening of a documentary about the life of a 20-year-old Ashland woman with Down syndrome and her battle to attend Southern Oregon University will be shown at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Ashland High School's Mountain Avenue Theater, 201 S. Mountain Ave., Ashland.

A panel discussion about the documentary about Eliza Schaaf will follow the documentary. The panel includes two of the four filmmakers, James Parker and Virginia Thomasi, who are students at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. Admission is free of charge.

Last fall, Schaaf enrolled in a college-level ceramics class as a non-admitted student at SOU. Non-admitted students may enroll in up to eight credits of classes but don't earn credit toward a degree. Midway through the term, the SOU administration decided to drop Schaaf from the class because, officials said, she required excessive supervision. Her classmates all signed a petition stating that Schaaf's presence in the class had not interfered with their ability to learn and complete their work, and they urged the university to allow her to finish the class.

The documentary was made as part of a Chapman class called Community Voices. It will be entered into at least five film festivals.

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— Paris Achen

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