Film Description

HDI Free Documentary Film Screening of “Bottom Dollars”

A free screening of the Bottom Dollars film, an original documentary by Rooted in Rights about the work exploitation of nearly 250,000 people with disabilities, will be held on October 25 from 6-8pm in the Lyric Theater Community Room in Lexington. This free public event is being presented by the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute, the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Kentucky Protection & Advocacy (P&A).

Following the screening, there will be a panel presentation featuring HDI’s employment expert, Milton Tyree, as well as the Bottom Dollars filmmaker who will be flying in from Washington State.

Other local screenings:

The National Council on Disability (NCD) invites you to participate in its Council meeting on Thursday, October 26 at the Aloft Louisville Downtown 102 W. Main St., Louisville, KY, conference rooms Tactic 1 & 4. The meeting will begin at 9:00 AM with the release of NCD’s 2017 Progress Report. This report focuses on the prevalence of poverty among people with disabilities and how federal regulations impact a person with a disability’s ability to achieve economic independence. The release includes a screening at 9:30 AM of the documentary Bottom Dollars a production by Rooted in Rights and a panel discussion to follow the screening, which will discuss report recommendations and findings. The screening of Bottom Dollars is in collaboration with Kentucky Protection & Advocacy, Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the University of Kentucky-Human Development Institute. A reception will follow the Council meeting at 5 PM atThe Mix located on the lobby level at the Aloft Louisville.

Bottom Dollars is an hour long documentary that exposes segregated workplaces and low wages often paid to people with disabilities. Through personal stories and expert interviews, the film presents a better vision for better alternatives that promote community inclusion, equal opportunity, and fair wages.

“Now is the time to end this antiquated and downright insulting exception to minimum wage laws,” said David Carlson, Executive Producer of Bottom Dollars and Director of Legal Advocacy at Disability Rights Washington. “The exception was written in a bygone era, long before children with disabilities were allowed to go to school to get an education and marketable skills, long before state and federal anti-discrimination laws protected employees with disabilities from discrimination, and long ‎before multiple state and federal programs were created to support people with disabilities secure and keep meaningful employment. Nothing short of fully repealing this exception is acceptable and I hope this film helps people see how flawed the assumptions underlying this exception are.”

The goal of Bottom Dollars is to empower advocates and policymakers looking at the needs of workers and start focusing on giving workers with disabilities the basic protection of a minimum wage.

The documentary features personal stories and interviews with advocates that have been working on improving the employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

“I, along with 20 other individuals with disabilities did the same work day in and day out with no opportunity to grow or be valued as an actual employee” said Lisette Johnson, former employee of a sheltered workshop who has worked in a competitive, integrated employment setting for the last few years. “Community employment opens doors for people with disabilities to be seen for their capabilities.”

A trailer for the film is available for preview at For a full list of people and organizations that made this documentary possible, please visit: View event flyer.

Come join us! No RSVP needed for this free event.

Contact Elaine Eisenbaum, PhD, MSW at or 859-257-6086 for more details.