“What we saw at that camp was that our lives could be better. The fact of the matter is that you don’t have anything to strive for if you don’t know that it exists.”
- Jimmy Lebrecht, former camper and co-director/producer of Crip Camp
Crip Camp tells the story of Camp Jened, a summer camp for teens with disabilities located in the Catskills that opened in 1951 and operated for over 25 years. The camp was a place where the teens were treated with respect and able to have all of the quintessential summer camp experiences. Campers made lifelong friendships and connected with others who had similar experiences. They were able to discuss the struggles they faced back home, including discrimination and the lack of accessibility and accommodation in almost all public places. Later during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s and 1970s, many former campers became prominent activists helping to lead the Disability Rights Movement. The documentary looks closely at the the 504 sit-in of the San Francisco federal building in 1977, a protest in which several former campers took part, that demanded greater accessibility and accommodation for those with disabilities.