Becoming Superhuman: Fact or fiction?

Back to blogOne year ago by Renee on behalf of Johanna Garvin
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Young Riley Saban with CP in a wheelchair with Dr Jordan Ngyen
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In this week ABC TV’S Catalyst two-part series Becoming Superhuman part 1 biomedical engineer Dr Jordan Ngyen and his team aims to create a cutting edge- new technology for his 13 year old friend Riley Saban who lives with cerebral palsy. The goal is to enable Riley to control technology with his eyes. At a time when there is a large amount of fear about technology, it was incredibly refreshing to hear the positive possibilities that it can offer humans in the future and to see a biomedical engineer wanting to use his skills in a positive way.

Prior to watching this episode of Catalyst, I had not given a lot of thought about the ways in which technology could enhance someone’s life. I was reminded of how often doing daily takes could be taken for granted. As a person who also lives with cerebral palsy, this documentary made me reflect on what a huge sense of achievement and freedom I feel when I am able to do things independently. I know that I am not alone in this feeling that all people, particularly those living with a disability, strive to be independent.

Often people with disabilities are not authentically represented on television, what was fantastic about this documentary is that Riley’s perspective was shown in an authentic way. His ambition, and determination to become a technology engineer and the friendship he has with Jordan, as well as the supportive relationship he has with his family, was the main focus of the documentary not his disability. There needs to be more documentaries like this. I look forward to seeing what happens next week in this two part series.

Written by guest blogger Johanna Garvin. Photo courtesy of

The second part of the series airs on Tuesday 31 May at 8pm on ABC. Join us on Twitter during the show – @CPAlliance. Johanna will be back to next week with her second review.