July 20, 2015 - Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 – a think tank dedicated to achieving disability-inclusive diversity in media, entertainment, and digital platforms – was convened in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The event was a part of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities’ official NYC ADA25 celebration. The event took place July 13 and 14 at New York University and John Jay College.
The think tank, produced by EIN SOF Communications and The Loreen Arbus Foundation, explored leading-edge accessible technology, authentic disability narratives, and best practices in advertising, television, film, and other media. Breakout sessions focused on accessible hardware and software, as well as disability-inclusive diversity in Internet programming, social media, and gaming. July 13 opened with a keynote from Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google.
Commissioner Lópezwelcomed the audience with an address on Monday and was a keynote speaker on Tuesday to describe the work of the film office and provide documentary examples of work featured on PBS produced by disabled filmmakers included: the following Freedom Machines, directed by Jamie Stobie and Janet Cole; No Bigger than a Minute by Steven Delano, My Way to Olympia by Niko von Glasow, and The Way I Walk by Jason DaSilva.
“On the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s vital to recognize the historic legacy of the movement but also look to the future and understand the communities’ evolving creative needs,” said Commissioner López. “These award-winning films were instrumental in influencing public policy, educating the general public and documenting the historical narrative of people with disabilities. The filmmakers behind these projects took ownership of their own stories, documenting the legacy and cultural contribution that people with disabilities have made to the arts.
“It’s critical to acknowledge the transformative nature of excellence in the Arts; and we need to make it our responsibility to support positive representation and principal roles in the media field.”
The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities works hand-in-hand with other City agencies to assure that the voice of the disabled community is represented and that City programs and policies address the needs of people with disabilities. The office has developed a number of informative brochures and directories that detail programs, services, activities, and other resources that are accessible to people with disabilities and works with organizations on specific issues affecting people with disabilities.
To learn more about the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, visit nyc.gov/mopd.