Celebrating 25 Years of the ADA with Larry Callahan

Attainment Company celebrates the Americans with Disabilities Act with a special video

We put together a video acknowledging the tremendous progress that has occurred over the past 25 years for people with disabilities. This video, put together by long-time Attainment employee Larry Callahan, who has an intellectual disability, also pays tribute to some of our exceptional employees. It has been getting rave reviews, so we thought it would be fun to go behind-the-scenes with Larry to find out how this project came to be. Enjoy!

What inspired you to create this video?

My main inspirations in life are people like Wiley Post, a successful airline pilot who had an accident on an oil rig and was blinded by one eye, but still managed to fly with only one eye. And also Helen Keller, who had a triple whammy. She was unable to speak, and she was blind and hearing impaired.  We have several co-workers at Attainment that also have special needs, and working with them over the years also served as part of the inspiration for doing this project.

Why did you want to celebrate the anniversary of the ADA?  What does the ADA mean to you?

Well, it helps motivate people that have special needs to get out into the work community and have successful jobs, and to earn money and make contributions to society.

Can you tell me about the process of making the video?

One of the first steps I had to do was search for footage on different hard drives, and using Vegas video program, I had to put the selected images on a timeline, and then copy them to the project. Then I had to put them in the correct order according to the script, and then we had different processes that we used to do the dissolving so it looks right. We also had other pieces and just selected the right footage for the video. It does take a considerable amount of time.

If you had to guess, how many hours do you think you spent on it total?

About a maximum of 22 hours.

Wow! What was your favorite part?

Well, I found some footage from a project that another co-worker who worked here years ago never finished, and I was able to use a little bit of that footage and incorporate it into the project. It was the classroom scene, right after the work footage in the kitchen.

What was the most challenging part?

I would say having to do the editing, because having to take out one little snippet can be kind of tricky. I do sometimes think of myself as a surgeon, doing a surgical procedure.

What interests you about film and video in general?

I’ve enjoyed watching TV and movie shows over the years. I tend to prefer a lot of the movie and TV shows that were produced before the 1970s, because they didn’t go overboard with the nudity, swearing and violence like they tend to do now. I’ve got so many favorites, it’s hard to choose just one. One movie I do like is the 1938 version of The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, definitely a classic. I have all of the episodes of the TV show the Untouchables at my house, the old version from 1959 and 1963, with Robert Stack as Elliot Ness. It’s set during the Prohibition era, with Al Capone and Bugs Moran.

What do you like about working at Attainment?

It was 1986 when I started.  Well, shortly before I started at Attainment, I was unemployed at that time.  I wasn’t able to work at the library in Madison because of a clause that said you had to live within the city limits, because it’s considered a city job, and I live in Oregon, WI (not Oregon the state or Oregon, IL!).  I actually got my job through an organization called W.O.R.C. (Working Opportunity in Rural Communities). That’s how I got a job with Attainment, and I’ve been with them ever since.  I definitely do enjoy working here.  I’ve made really great friendships over the years.  And I feel that a lot of our products have been helpful to different people over the years.

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