DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION AND ACCESS
The Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium, Inc. is fully committed to ensuring that accessibility guidelines and requirements as set forth by the federal government and state of New Jersey are implemented in as timely and efficient a manner as possible.
The Consortium is consistently responsive to making film accessible for all people with disabilities and will continue to strive to provide the utmost accessible experience possible. Through our programming, design, and service, we reach out to and provide assistance and appropriate accommodations whenever possible. We provide effective communication and follow best practices of effective and sensitive techniques to serve members of the community with disabilities.
The Consortium is also committed to exercising best practices and outreach in regard to recruiting persons with disabilities as festival volunteers, interns, and employees whenever possible.
The Consortium, through the efforts of the ADA Compliance Committee, regularly reviews its policies and procedures to adapt, accommodate and address any issues or problems that might arise in regard to ADA compliance and regularly assesses its progress in achieving full compliance. People with disabilities and/or their liaisons are welcome to contact the festival director at: Jane@TEFilmFestival.org
Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium Mission and Programming
Since 1981 the mission of the Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium, Inc. has been to promote and advocate innovation in the art of the moving image with a primary focus on non-commercial film and video. The Thomas Edison Film Festival, formerly known as the Black Maria Film Festival, advances and exhibits the work of diverse filmmakers from across the US and internationally. These artists often represent an under-served constituency who might not otherwise have the opportunity for live public exhibition nationwide or abroad.
The Thomas Edison Film Festival (TEFF) focuses on animation, documentary, experimental, movement-based and narrative films that push boundaries. The festival's juried collection of short films addresses issues and struggles within contemporary society, such as public health, people with disabilities, race and class, climate change, substance abuse, family, sustainability, immigration, LGBTQ issues and more.
We reach out to varied audiences in settings including colleges, museums, libraries, community organizations, and arts venues, with custom-curated programs. The Consortium also administers the NJ Young Filmmakers Festival (NJYFF), and the Global Insights/ADA collection. NJYFF recognizes, celebrates, and supports students in NJ through workshops, a juried competition, and exhibition. The Consortium's Global Insights/ADA Collection draws work from the TEFF archive for exhibition - specifically films that focus on people with disabilities, racial equity, issues of the environment, diversity, and social justice. Annually, works selected for inclusion by the jury and festival director are taken on tour to colleges, museums, libraries and cultural institutions throughout NJ, the US, and abroad.
Organizational Policies and Practices
The Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium maintains an active committee to assess ADA compliance. Members include, Jane Steuerwald, Executive Director, Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium, Jane@TEFilmFestival.org; Debi Glennon – a person with a disability (Multiple Sclerosis - MS), email@example.com; Steve Gorelick, Executive Director, NJ Motion Picture and Television Commission and Robert Foster, Executive Director of the Hoboken Historical Museum, firstname.lastname@example.org, (201) 656-2240. Jane Steuerwald is responsible for conducting the assessment and she reaches out to every host site on the festival's national/international tour.
The ADA Compliance Committee receives updates regarding ADA Compliance annually. The Consortium is committed to making its programs and facilities accessible to everyone. It is the policy of the Consortium to maintain a working environment and a program exhibition environment free from all forms of unlawful discrimination. The Consortium is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. Host sites presenting Consortium programs are required to be in compliance with ADA guidelines, and we reassess programs and facilities annually.
Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium - ADA Compliance - Americans with Disabilities Act
As an organization with a nationally touring film program, the Thomas Edison Media Arts Consortium, Inc. proactively supports and advocates ADA accessibility guidelines. People with disabilities and their companions or liaisons are encouraged to contact the festival office prior to a scheduled screening event in order to ascertain and confirm the specific accessibility features of the host venue. The Executive Director supplies the contact information for the host venue in order to confirm any needed accommodations. On the Thomas Edison Film Festival's Tour Schedule link, approved ADA symbols are posted indicating each host site's accessibility. The festival provides each host venue with program notes in a minimum of 16-point type, and can provide enlarged program notes upon request to individuals with impaired vision. The festival will also seek to facilitate procurement of Assistive Listening devices for patrons upon request.
For these special accommodations, the festival must be contacted at least two weeks prior to a scheduled program. Each season the Thomas Edison Film Festival's comprehensive program booklet is linked to the festival website and may be viewed by patrons on their home computers and/or other digital devices such as tablets and smart phones. In this way, based on individual requirements, the program booklet can be accessed to accommodate people with vision or other physical impairment.
The Consortium is committed to making its programs accessible to everyone. It is our policy to maintain a working environment and a program exhibition environment free of all forms of unlawful discrimination. The Consortium is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. Host sites presenting Consortium programs are required to be in compliance with ADA guidelines.
Date of adoption: 11/29/14. Updated 12/16/20.
Contact information for ADA related questions: Jane Steuerwald
, Festival Director, Jane@TEFilmFestival.org
; Steve Gorelick
, Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium Trustee & ADA coordinator - email@example.comFestival office
, phone: +1 201-856-6565.
Programmatic Issues and our Partners
The Thomas Edison Film Festival (TEFF) is a touring film festival visiting venues in the US and abroad, and presenting 60 or more programs a year - in-person and virtually. We carefully vet, work with, and coordinate the resources of our host institutions to accomplish the highest level of ADA compliance possible. All of our host institutions such as the Hoboken Historical Museum - our home base; The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University; Ramapo College of New Jersey; the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, NY; Savannah College of Art & Design, GA; University of Gloucestershire, UK: and many more, are ADA compliant and some provide Assistive Listening Devices on site upon request. Each host site must confirm that they meet the Consortium's ADA Compliance requirements in advance in order to qualify as a host venue for a Thomas Edison Film Festival program, or a NJ Young Filmmakers program, or for any program provided to the public as part of a Consortium initiative.
Our website carries synopses of all of the films in the annual collection within the program booklet and is available for preview by patrons interested in reviewing an advance synopsis of any film in the TEFF tour. Each individual program presentation typically consists of 10 or so independent shorts, including experimental/abstract works, documentaries, animation, movement-based and narrative films. These individually curated programs are made available to each host site in advance of program presentations.
The TEFF annual program booklet is provided to each host site in advance via email. This allows a host site to provide program booklets digitally to patrons in advance of presentations, and for patrons to engage with program content in advance. For example, a patron with vision loss can review the entire booklet in an enlarged print version at home via computer. The Consortium also provides a 16pt. print version programs presented at every host site, to accompany the screening.
Perhaps most importantly, programs that are presented virtually or in-person by the Executive Director allow for personalized engagement with audience members. Not only does this practice allow for descriptive narration provided in real time by the Director, it also includes fielding questions from the audience regarding visuals and/or sound for each film being screened.
To accomplish our ADA compliance goals, the Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium has developed a "Host Organization Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA Compliance) Rider and Survey" which must be completed by our host venues. Through this survey the Consortium establishes a reasonable advance notification policy for patrons interested in utilizing ADA programs and services including large print programs, assistive listening devices, wheelchair accessibility, that they admit service animals whenever necessary, etc.
ADA Compliance and Accessibility at the Hoboken Historical Museum - the home of the Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium
The Hoboken Historical Museum, 1301 Hudson Street, Hoboken, NJ is the home base of the Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium. The Museum entrance is located in the middle of a "breezeway" between 1301 Hudson Street and One Shipyard Lane and is wheelchair accessible from either Hudson Street or Shipyard Lane.
There is ADA compliant parking for persons requiring wheelchair accessibility or having other mobility issues on Shipyard Lane only a few feet from away from the Museum entrance. The Hoboken Historical Museum has a fully ADA compliant main entrance door and bathroom facility.
Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium
Thomas Edison Film Festival
NJ Young Filmmakers' Festival
Global Insights/ADA Collection
PO Box 3426
Hoboken, NJ 07030