UK Happenings

UK HDI Hosting Free Screening of 'Bottom Dollars' at the Lyric

Watch the "Bottom Dollars" trailer above.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2017) — 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 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center Community Room in Lexington. This free public event is being presented by the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI), the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, Independence Place Inc. and Kentucky Protection & Advocacy.

"Bottom Dollars" is an hourlong 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.

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 the state of Washington.

“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.”

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

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue