Department of Neighborhoods

Press Release

Director of Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Named to ReelAbilities Advisory Committee
City Partners to Promote Disabilities Film Festival, Largest in the Nation, in 2013



June 8, 2012 -- Houston Mayor Annise Parker is pleased to announce that Elaine Roberts, Director of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, has been named the newest member of the ReelAbilities: Houston Disabilities Film Festival 2013 Advisory Committee by the Jewish Family Service Disability Services Alexander Institute for Inclusion.  The role of the Committee is to provide professional guidance in planning for Houston’s first film festival featuring award-winning films by and about people with disabilities, scheduled to take place February 6-13, 2013.

“We are proud to share the expertise of director Elaine Roberts and the resources of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities to help make the ReelAbilities Film Festival an exciting and inspiring cultural event that all Houstonians can learn from and enjoy,” said Mayor Parker.

“Mayor Annise Parker is a member of our Honorary Host Committee, and we are very pleased to have her support” said Eric Mayer, who along with his wife Isabelle is chairing ReelAbilities.  “The mayor is working with us to make our first film festival something truly special for our city.” 

“I am honored to be invited to serve on this advisory committee,” said Roberts.  “ReelAbilities presents a unique opportunity to promote inclusiveness by spotlighting the talents, contributions and vision of artists with disabilities.

ReelAbilities is the largest film festival in the nation committed to promoting public appreciation and awareness of the lives, stories and artistic expression of persons with disabilities.  Jewish Family Service of Houston and its Alexander Institute for Inclusion are the host city organizers.  The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR Memorial Hermann) will serve as the lead sponsor of this new cultural event in Houston’s arts and human services arena.  The Bristow Group will serve as the festival’s Diamond ReelEducation sponsor in support of outreach to students at area secondary schools and colleges and universities. 

The film festival screenings will be presented at locations throughout the city, including schools, theaters, museums and community centers.  The event will also feature post-screening discussions as well as other multi-media presentations exploring the content and celebrating the diversity depicted in the films.

For more details about the festival, call 713-667-9336 or visit  For information about the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, a division of the Department of Neighborhoods, visit