On Tuesdsay, March 29, 2016 Pace University hosted its Fourth Annual Celebration of Individuals with Disabilties in Film Marathon, concluding with a panel discussion and a screening of seven of the best films from the festival. Held in conjunction with the ReelAbilities New York Disabilities Film Festival and AHRC New York City (a longtime community partner of Pace), the narrative and documentary films viewed during the event showcased the daily lives, struggles, and triumphs of people with disabilities. The event was organized and chaired by James Lawler, DPS, Professor of Information Technology at Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.
This year’s panel included moderators Dr. Marijo Russell O’Grady, Dean for Students, Pace University; Melanie A. Greene, a student at Pace and Jefferson Award honoree; and Cassandra Raffucci, a self-advocate who attends AHRC NYC’s Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program at Kingsborough Community College.
Participating in the discussion were Panelists, Anita Altman, Founder of the ReelAbilities Film Festival; Kathy Broderick, Associate Executive Director, AHRC NYC; Victor Calise, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities; Allan B. Goldstein, Senior Lecturer, NYU Tandon School of Engineering and a sibling of a person with a disabitlity; Maria Hodermarska, Teacher, New York University and a parent of two people on the autism spectrum; and Dr. Marilyn Jaffe-Ruiz, Professor Emerita at Pace University, the AHRC NYC Board of Directors‘ Second Vice President, and a sibling of a person with a disability.
Dr. Jonathan Hill, Interim Dean of the Seidenberg School, started off the evening by saying that society has only reached “the tip of the iceberg in a really powerful movement” in its showcasing creative people with disabilities. “I have seen how a comput