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Discussion and Screening: My Dream

Overcoming disability is the focus of a USCI panel discussion and film screening.

October 1, 2007 12:00am

Time: 5 - 8 pm

Meeting the needs of individuals confronting physical and mental challenges is a pressing worldwide issue. The U.S.-China Institute marks China's National Day with presentations by individuals who have overcome such challenges, brief talks by scholars on policies and practices toward the disabled, and a screening of My Dream, a film documenting the preparations and performances of the Chinese Disabled People's Performing Arts Troupe.

Reservations are not required for the event, but your RSVP is appreciated. Please write to or call 213-821-4382.


Tai Lihua is president of the Chinese Disabled People's Performing Arts Troupe. Deaf since the age of two, Ms. Tai earned a college degree and is a highly regarded professional dancer.  She narrates and is featured in  My Dream.  

Elyn Saks is a professor and is associate dean of the USC Gould School of Law.  Prof. Saks has recently published her memoir about her ongoing (and previously private) struggle with schizophrenia. Prof. Saks is the author of three previous books and numerous journal articles.


John Bola is an associate professor in the USC School of Social Work and previously taught at the University of Chicago. His work on the treatment of schizophrenia has attracted wide attention and sparked intense discussion on the use of medications.


Ann Marie Yamada is an assistant professor in the USC School of Social Work. Her research focuses on cultural factors in treating and serving the needs of people suffering from mental illnesses. She has worked extensively on family and caregiver education.


Screening: My Dream

Founded in 1987, the Chinese Disabled People's Performing Arts Troupe is composed of performers with sight, hearing, mental and motor disabilities or speech impairments. The troupe is a symbol of the hopes and dreams of disabled people and has toured all over China and in about 40 countries on all five continents.

Their show is unique and dazzling both visually and musically. The story unfolds though a character who has several bodies. A deaf dancer moves to the rhythm of the music. A young paraplegic man delivers a song accompanied by choreographed gestures. The deaf and mute performers show off their mimicry, while those who are visually impaired speak their words for them.

In 2004, the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe participated in the closing ceremonies of the Paralympic Games in Athens, and is currently preparing for the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. It has also been appointed “Ambassador for persons with disabilities” by the World Assembly of Disabled Peoples´ International (DPI).

The 90 minute film features 84 performers.