Investing in Ability 2016 Events

Many of this year’s Investing in Ability events explore the interconnected nature of disability and diversity.

Presented by the University of Michigan Council for Disability Concerns
in collaboration with University Human Resources,
the University of Michigan Health System, and University Health Service.

All events are free and everyone is welcome.
If accommodations are needed, contact
at least one week in advance.

For location information, see the Campus Information Center map.

Tuesday, October 4

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Comics on Color, Crips, Queers, and Other Idiosyncrasies
Location: Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

The genre of comics and graphic narratives in America were born on the fringes of literary endeavors, and as such have served as a space where normative identities and their boundaries have been enforced, explored, and expanded. This panel of speakers will provide an introduction to and overview of how comics have address issues of difference and inclusion in works from both mainstream and independent publishing venues, and ways in which inclusion in comics can make a difference in people's lives. Moderator: PF Anderson. Panelists: Susan Brown; David Carter; Elizabeth Settoducato; Lloyd Shelton.

Thursday, October 6

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
The Athlete Experience: Panel Discussion
Location: Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

"The Athlete Experience" panel will explore the intersection of athletics and disability on campus, including the psychological challenges faced by student athletes and the supports available to athletes with physical differences or impairments. We also hope to discover how we can support and engage athletes who have diverse abilities both on and off campus.


Friday, October 7

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Coloring Who We Are
Location: Shapiro Design Lab

The coloring movement appeals to people of all ages, but coloring books available to buy are often quite expensive and promote stereotypes. It is hard to find coloring pages that reflect real people's lives, especially for lives of people of color, with a disability, or other kinds of differences. There are online coloring pages available for free, but many of those are on websites which install viruses on the computers or which try to steal passwords. In this hands-on workshop, we'll provide some coloring pages that are a bit different from usual, and also touch on how to find free coloring pages that are safe to download and use, and how to make your own simple coloring pages with free online tools.


Friday, October 7

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Active Minds Panel Discussion: Mental Health at U-M; Stories from Students
Location: Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

Friday, October 7

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Wretches and Jabberers, Film
Location: Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

Introduction & Comments: PF Anderson

In Wretches & Jabberers, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette (both men with autism), embark on a global quest to change attitudes about disability and intelligence. Traveling to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland, at each stop, they dissect public attitudes about autism and issue a hopeful challenge to reconsider competency and the future.

Sunday, October 9

Doors open  2:00 p.m. 
Tip-off at 3:00 p.m.
2016 UM Army-Navy Wheelchair Basketball Game
Location: Crisler Center

This is the eleventh year of holding our only official U-M sponsored athletic event. Always free of charge, this event is open to the entire community.

Please print and post this wheelchair basketball event flier.

The 2016 Game will feature:

  • Grand Marshall Ted Spencer
  • Paralympics TEAM U.S.A.’s Paul Schulte
  • U-M Cheerleader Team
  • U-M Dance Team
  • U-M Tri-Service Color Guard
  • 338th Army Band
  • DJ Scholar

Monday, October 10

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
The Intersection of Disability and Diversity
Location: Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

A panel discussion exploring the many aspects of diversity including intersectionality, particularly with the broad spectrum of differences found in the disability community.


  • David J. Brown, M.D., Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Health Equity and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Lisa M. Green, MA, LLPC, Coordinator of Services for Students with Learning Disabilities (LD), ADHD, TBI, Mental Health, and Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Michael M. McKee, M.D., M.P.H, Assistant Professor, Department of U-M Family Medicine
  • Mary Jo Desprez, M.A. Director, Wolverine Wellness: Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program
  • Jack Bernard (moderator), Associate General Counsel and Lecturer, U-M Law School and School of Education.


Tuesday, October 11

11:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Dogs on the Diag - Service and Therapy Dogs
3 Locations: Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library ; North Campus Grove; East Ann Arbor Health Center

Various breeds, sizes and types of service and therapy dogs can be seen (and patted with permission if they are not working) in 3 locations!

The objectives in this annual activity are to raise consciousness about and reinforce the animal-human bond with the intent of making the academic, hospital, and surrounding local community feel comfortable with and appreciative of therapy and service dogs and their various roles in helping human beings. In addition, for the past ten years, we have Invited various service and therapy dog organizations (e.g., Paws with a Cause: Canine Companions; Leader Dogs, Therapaws, etc.) to come to campus in October, to interact with members of the community, especially students and hospital patients, all of which is a wonderful learning experience for our campus and surrounding community. We established several venues for dog viewing (and patting) around campus and in the hospital. We also fielded questions as well as offers from individuals to enroll their own pets in the therapy dog program or to foster and socialize puppies until they were old enough to undergo training as service dogs. Conclusions: By presenting positive, detailed information about the training and ultimate helpfulness of various types of service and therapy dogs and by providing "hands-on" interactions with these canines, we have promoted the idea of bonding between dogs and people, both emotionally and as valuable assistants to individuals with disabilities.


Tuesday, October 11

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
"Rebranding Disability Through Achievement” with Lime Connect

Room 3003 Student Activities Building

Dialogue on Disclosure Followed by Corporate Partner Roundtables at the University Career Center Should I disclose my disability to an employer? When should I do it? How? On Tuesday, October 11th, join Lime Connect and fellow Michigan students for an engaging two-part event to help you answer these questions and more. The event will kick off with a candid conversation about disclosure and accommodations, along with additional information on scholarships and opportunities through Lime Connect and The Lime Connect Fellowship Program. Directly following the conversation, Lime Connect corporate partners will host a roundtable discussion regarding internship and full-time career opportunities with their companies. Invited partners include PepsiCo, IBM, Google, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, JP Morgan, PwC, Unilever, and Microsoft. If you’re a student who happens to have any type of disability, you won’t want to miss this! If you have questions about this event please contact Joelle Fundaro at Date: October 11, 2016 Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Refreshments will be served. To RSVP: "Join Event" within handshake or RSVP to Joelle Fundaro

Thursday, October 13

Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Everyday Advocacy; Disability and the Law
Attorney Jason Turkish
Location: ECC, School of Social Work 

Come join the School of Social Work as we welcome Jason Turkish, Esq., "...a leading voice for the disabled and those who need a fair shot, Jason uses his lifetime of personal experience, and superior legal training, to achieve life-changing results for his clients."

Mr. Turkish will explore the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as major legal developments. The goal of the presentation is to educate non-attorney individuals without disabilities on how they can be advocates and allies to the disability community. 

Refreshments will be provided.

Friday, October 14

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Short Films Night:  Compensation; Her Giveaway; Talk to Me
Introduction & Comments: Jane Vincent
Location: Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

"Compensation": Tthe first feature by award-winning filmmaker Zeinabu irene Davis (Cycles and A Powerful Thang), presents two unique African-American love stories between a deaf woman and a hearing man. Inspired by a poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar, this moving narrative shares their struggle to overcome racism, disability and discrimination. An important film on African-American deaf culture, Davis innovatively incorporates silent film techniques (such as title cards and vintage photos) to make the piece accessible to hearing and deaf viewers alike, and to share the vast possibilities of language and communication.

"Her Giveaway": Carole Lafavor, member of the Ojibwe tribe, activist, mother and registered nurse, is a person with AIDS. In this candid and moving portrait, Lafavor relates how she has come to terms with AIDS by combining her traditional beliefs and healing practices with Western medicine. Her "giveaway" to the larger AIDS community is more than just basic information, it is an inspiring example of how we can all learn from the Native American philosophy of illness.

"Talk to Me" is a documentary that takes viewers into the lives of children with autism at home and at school, and profiles the efforts of their parents and teachers to help them achieve their potential. The families we meet are of different racial and socio-economic backgrounds struggling to obtain appropriate services for their children. … Whatever their incomes, these families struggle to obtain appropriate services for their children, and the film shows realistically that such resources are not always distributed fairly. Emma's parents have enrolled her in an at-home program, while Adre's single mother, who could certainly use such a program, isn't even aware that they exist.

Wednesday, October 19

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Applying Universal Design Principles to Promote Active Participation by All Students
Center on Research for Learning and Teaching (CRLT)
Location: 1013 Palmer Commons

Registration free but requested at:


Thursday, October 20

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Disability Justice Panel
Location: Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

A panel of scholars and activists from the University of Michigan community will reflect on the ways in which disability activism may connect with other movements for social justice. Drawing from their own work and experience, panelists will explore the meaning of disability justice and offer wisdom for building social movements based on interdependence.

Monday, October 24

7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Supporting the Health Self-management Needs of Youth with Disabilities
Dr. Seth Warschausky
Location: Public Meeting Room, AA District Library Main Branch

Young people with disabilities often have to manage more complex health needs than their typically developing peers. Physical and cognitive impairments can affect the ability to learn and execute self-management tasks and then there is the central issue of motivation for health self-management. This talk, based on recent research, focuses on what we know about motivation and cognition in health self-management and the implications for successful transition to optimal independence.

About the speaker: Dr. Warschausky is a Professor and pediatric rehabilitation psychologist and neuropsychologist in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan. He is the founding Director of the Michigan Adapted Cognitive Assessment Laboratory (M-ACAL), which supports studies on the use of computerized cognitive assessments for children and adolescents who have physical and speech impairments. He collaborates with the University of Michigan Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center to study and address the health self-management needs of young adults with congenital neurodevelopmental conditions. Dr. Warschausky is on the Editorial Boards of Rehabilitation Psychology and the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. He serves on the Science Advisory Council of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. He has served on the Executive Board for United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan and the Advisory Board of the American Psychological Association Center for Psychology in Schools and Education.

Tuesday, October 25

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Health Care Disparities and Disability: Identifying and Addressing Modifiable Factors
Dr. Michelle Meade
Location: Taubman Health Sciences Library Building, Room 2901 (2 floors below street entry level)

Health Care Disparities and Disability: Identifying and Addressing Modifiable Factors
For individuals with disabilities, health and functioning are affected not only by personal factors but also environmental variables, including accessibility of environment, policies and programs that are available, and knowledge and attitudes of healthcare providers and other significant individuals within their lives. This talk will focus on identifying those modifiable factors that impact healthcare disparities for this group and focus on what we – as individual providers and as a healthcare system – can begin to do to promote positive changes.

About the speaker:  Dr. Meade is an Associate Professor and a Rehabilitation Psychologist in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the University of Michigan Medical School.  Her clinical work focuses on providing outpatient therapy for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and other physical disabilities.  As a researcher, she has several roles: Director and Principal Investigator of the Technology Increasing Knowledge: Technology Optimizing Choice (TIKTOC) Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC); Director of the Center for Technology, Health, and Independence; and a co-investigator and study director for the University of Michigan SCI Model Systems program.  Her clinical work and research activities have effectively emphasized a connection with patient and provider education as well as dissemination of scientific information and knowledge translation.

Wednesday, October 26

9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
James T. Neubacher Award Ceremony
Location: Rackham Assembly Hall

Continental Breakfast at 9:30, followed by the James T. Neubacher Award Ceremony.  A plaque will be awarded by Regent to the recipient of the Neubacher Award and Certificates of Appreciation to other members of the University of Michigan Community (faculty/staff/students/alums) who were selected from among the nominees by the Neubacher Award Committee.

Wednesday, October 26

7:00 - 8:45 p.m.
Zen & The Art of Coloring for Adults
Location: Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch, 4th Floor Meeting Room

Maybe you have heard of the 'new' craze of coloring books for adults? From fostering creativity to being a meditative and relaxing activity, coloring together is where it's at! Join us for an evening of coloring for ADULTS, light refreshments, and music designed to set a zen mood. We'll provide all the supplies, plus coloring pages from Joanna Basford's insanely popular ' Secret Garden' and 'Enchanted Forest' coloring books and many more! This is a great way to try out some of these books and see what it's all about!

Thursday, October 27

7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
My Queer Lineage; presentation and Q & A via Skype
David Roche
Location: Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

David Roche, a well-known writer, inspirational humorist, and speaker on disability-related topics, will be joining us via Skype to present his new piece on the intersectionality of disability identity and the emergence of AIDS among gay men in 1980's San Francisco. Co-sponsored by the Spectrum Center.

Friday, October 28

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Film: Miya of the Quiet Strength
Introduction & Comments: PF Anderson, Sonya Rodolfo-Sioson
Location: Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

Miya of the Quiet Strength is a documentary about the life of Miya Rodolfo-Sioson, the lone survivor of the November 1, 1991 University of Iowa shooting, 25 years ago. Following her injury, Miya became a quadriplegic. The film shows Miya’s life as an activist, following her as she overcomes many challenges and fights for the rights of others she sees as less fortunate than herself. In Miya’s own words, “I would not feel complete if I wasn’t helping others.” Sonya Rodolfo-Sioson, Miya’s mother, will be introducing the film, describing Miya’s activist heritage, and will be available for questions afterwards.

Friday, November 4

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Disability in Indian Cinema
Professor Joyojeet Pal
Location: North Quad - 1255 (please note the room change)

In this talk, we discuss the portrayals of disability in Indian cinema since the early talkie days, and track the changes in the ways these portrayals have changed over time. We consider three core concepts - dependence, disequilibrium, and punishment. Using video clips from Tamil, Hindi, and Malayalam films from across various decades, we look at how these themes are tied to mythology and religion, and more recently to the idea of a developmental state. 

Speaker Bio
Joyojeet Pal is an assistant professor at the School of Information, his research is on technology and accessibility in the Global South. He researched and produced the documentary "For the Love of a Man" on cinema fan culture in India which was nominated for best documentary in the Venice Classics series at the 2015 Venice Film Festival.

Monday, November 14

Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Janice Fialka
Location: Gallery, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

Janice Fialka, LMSW, ACSW is a nationally-recognized lecturer, author, and advocate on issues related todisability, parent-professional partnerships, inclusion, raising a child with disabilities, sibling issues, and post-secondary education. She is also a parent, poet, a compelling storyteller, and an award-winning advocate for families and persons with disabilities.

A sought-after presenter, Janice has provided the keynote address and workshops at numerous renowned national, state, and local conferences throughout the United States and Canada. Janice also conducts workshops for schools, human service organizations, and parent and advocacy groups.   New Book! What Matters: Reflections on Disability, Community and Love