Get Inspired by CRUTCH

Kids need to be empowered when faced with life’s challenges. They need to feel validated, understood and have a sense of control over their situation.

They need to be inspired.

Bill Shannon is doing just that.

Photo Credit: Mireya Acierto
Photo Credit: Mireya Acierto

Bill was diagnosed with Legg-Calve Perthes disease when he was five years old and depends on crutches to ambulate. He is an artist and dancer that focuses on his abilities to communicate with the world.


Bill is featured in a documentary, CRUTCH by, Sachi Cunningham and Chandler Evans.

CRUTCH chronicles the life of Bill Shannon, an internationally renowned artist, break dancer and skate punk, who wields his crutches as tools of expression and weapons of provocation.

A decade of exclusive access, plus a lifetime of archival footage, depict Shannon from his early years as a disabled child who refused to sit idle and watch able-bodied kids play, to his rise as an award-winning dancer and cutting-edge performance artist whose work finds outlet at prestigious venues worldwide, including Cirque du Soleil, the Sydney Opera House, the Tate Modern, and the Chicago MOCA.

CRUTCH examines Shannon’s controversial street performances as he exposes the hidden world of prejudices encountered by disabled people on a daily basis. It questions his methods as he exploits strangers’ good Samaritan impulses to make his point—and his art, yet marvels at his ability to offer solutions and empowerment to those facing similar challenges. The film explores how a degenerative condition and chronic physical pain have fueled both the beauty of his movements and his in-your-face attitude.

From childhood “cripple” to international provocateur, CRUTCH is an emotional journey of an artist’s struggle to be understood.

CRUTCH has created a Kickstarter site to help raise funds for the post production journey, so it can be featured at elite film festivals worldwide. They are half way to their goal!

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Have you seen the new ACLP promo video about child life? Sometimes it can be tough to describe our profession because we provide so many services. This video sums it up in 5 minutes explaining the powerful impact that child life services have on pediatric patients and their families.

I am beyond proud of my dear friend, Deb Vilas a Bank Street College Child Life Faculty/Advisor and strong advocate for play. She consulted in the creation of this film, along with Teresa Schoell, CCLS at Rochester General Hospital, Shriene Urry, the Manager of Communications at the ACLP and other outstanding team members.

Job well done, in my eyes they should win an Oscar.

Check it out and share away!