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Pace University celebrates fifth anniversary of Disability Film Festival Marathon


Panel discussion with leading advocates for people with disabilities in New York City

New York, NY – March 24, 2017 – Pace University’s annual Celebration of Individuals with Disabilities in Film was held on Thursday, March 23 at One Pace Plaza in lower Manhattan.

The Disability Film Festival Marathon 2017 is a collaboration of the Dean for Students and the outreach programs of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems of Pace University, in close partnership with AHRC New York City, an agency for helping people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and with the ReelAbilities: New York Disabilities Film Festival. The marathon highlighted short documentary and narrative films from the Reel Abilities Film Festival in New York City, respecting the autonomy and the empowerment of people with disabilities.

“This year marks the fifth anniversary of Pace’s annual Celebration of Individuals with Disabilities in Film,” said James P. Lawler, DPS, Professor of Disability Studies and Information Technologies at Pace and Chair and Organizer of the Film Festival Marathon. “I am extremely grateful to our distinguished panel of experts and audience guests for making this year’s program a great success.”

A panel of expert practitioners on the advocacy of disability rights in society discussed the challenges and the opportunities highlighted in each of the films, with the panelists inviting engagement from guests. Following the panel discussion, moderators engaged in Q&A with audience guests in opinion polling on film themes.

Panelists included Jonathan Novick, Coordinator for Information Technology, New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities; Allan B. Goldstein, Senior lecturer, New York University, Tandon School of Engineering, Sibling; Maria Hodermarska; Parent and teacher, New York University; and Gary Lind, Executive Director, AHRC New York City. Moderators: Marijo Russell O’Grady, PhD, Dean for Students, Pace University; Melanie A. Greene, Seidenberg School, Information Technology and Marketing, Pace University; Greta Baier, Determined 3rd grader; and Gilda Lindenblatt, Self-advocate. Keynote Presenter: Jonathan Hill, DPS, Dean, Seidenberg School, Pace University.

The festival encourages Pace students to inquire about Area of Knowledge (AOK) CIS 102W community engagement courses, disability inclusion initiatives, and disability outreach programs of the Seidenberg School of Pace University, including paid internship and mentoring projects with people with disabilities in New York City.

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

Media contact:  Bill Caldwell, Pace, 212-346-1597,

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