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ACCESS Hosts Viewing of Acclaimed Independent Film Normie, Welcomes Director and Lead Actor to Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas – February 11, 2020 – ACCESS® Group, Inc. will host a special viewing of the nationally-acclaimed independent film Normie on Thursday, March 5, 2020. The viewing will take place at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church’s Wesley Hall, and tickets will be free for attendees. Doors will open at 6:00 pm, and the film will begin at 6:30 pm.

Winner of an Audience Award at the Breckenridge Film Festival, Normie features Annemarie Carrigan, a young woman with Down syndrome who grapples with the illusion of normal and the realities of living with a disability. When Annemarie looks in the mirror, she sees Down syndrome. She hates it. To her, the diagnosis is a giant barricade keeping her from the independence and intimacy she desperately desires. She embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to understand what it means to be normal. Normie is a powerful film that that hopes to challenge viewers’ preconceived notions about special needs and intellectual differences, but also “flip the lens” and draw the audience into honest questions for themselves. In Normie that question is––What gives a person value? Or better yet––What gives you value?

“ACCESS is thrilled to host this special viewing experience in Little Rock,” says Tammy Simmons, Executive Director and Co-founder. “In order to more fully promote inclusion of individuals of all abilities, it is important that our community understands the perspective of those like Annemarie who are looking for purpose and independence while struggling with society’s views and expectations. Normie offers a rare glimpse into the intimate thoughts of a young woman facing challenges everyday not just because of her disability, but also because of the biases placed on her by others.”

Following the viewing, there will be a Q&A with the Director, Kurt Neale and lead cast member, Annemarie Carrigan. Space is limited for the viewing. Guests can reserve their free tickets to this thought-provoking, touching film today through the designated Eventbrite website: In lieu of admissions to the film, guests are asked to consider making a donation to support the work of ACCESS, a local nonprofit providing services that offer opportunities and independence to individuals like Annemarie. Donations can be made at the event or by visiting To watch the trailer for Normie, visit For questions about the showing, contact Kellie Wilhite, ACCESS Director of Development. | (501) 217-8600

Praise for Normie

Normie so full of love and fun. You always smile like the sun. With your heart so kind. You never let anyone fall behind. I am proud to write a few words in order to honor a girl so fair, not just to special Normie, but to all who see this film. It is about truth and honesty, purity at one look. This film is an inspiration to one and all, and shows us never to forget that Love conquers and is the greatest gift of all.
– Sarah Ferguson – Duchess of York, human rights advocate, producer, philanthropist, and author

Normie is an incredibly powerful film about love and the fundamental, universal truth that despite our differences, we all have something special and unique to contribute to this world. Every life has value and I firmly believe that the true beauty of this world lies in us all being exactly who we are. This film will inspire meaningful, deeper conversations about inclusion and disrupt the status quo as we know it.
– Anthony Shriver – Founder, Chairman & CEO of Best Buddies International

Having a younger daughter with Down syndrome, seeing Normie brought on so many emotions. This movie is so raw and real, while showing her living a full life filled with love and laughter…all the things I hope and dream for my own Ruby someday!! After awarding her a Ruby’s Rainbow Scholarship in 2015, we had the joy of following her journey while she was attending the University of Central Missouri. This film takes it a step further into her life now and to watch her become an even stronger, more brilliant woman right in front of your eyes is the ultimate journey!!
– Liz Plachta – Co-Founder, Executive Director Ruby’s Rainbow


Mission: Expanding Individual Potential Through Innovative Instruction

ACCESS is a 501c3 nonprofit offering evaluation services, full-time education, therapy, training and activities for individuals with disabilities. Founded in 1994, the center comprises ACCESS Early Childhood Program, ACCESS Academy, ACCESS Therapy, ACCESS Academic Therapy (specialized tutoring), ACCESS Life, Project SEARCH Arkansas: ACCESS Initiative in partnership with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Waiver, ACCESS Evaluation and Resource Center, and Behavioral Health and Counseling. The ACCESS Stella Boyle Smith Early Childhood campus is located at 10618 Breckenridge Drive in Little Rock, Arkansas. The ACCESS Academy and Young Adult Campus is located at 1500 North Mississippi Street in Little Rock, Arkansas.