CfDC Minutes — January 4, 2012

Attending: Jane Vincent, Melanie Nau, Charlie Pekarek, Beth Manuel, Christa Moran, Lisa Clark, Anna Clements, Phil Larson, Carolyn Grawi, Carole Dubritsky, Sally Lindsley, Els Nieuwenhuijsen, Margaret Hough, Lloyd Shelton, Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (Coordinator&Scribe).

Introductions were made around the table and new attendees were welcomed by Anna Ercoli Schnitzer serving as Council Chair in Jack Bernard’s absence.


Investing in Ability (IA) events went very well in late October, and the IA Subcommittee is now open to receiving new members. We meet on Wednesdays during the year, as often as needed, at 11:30-12:30 in the North Ingalls Building, 4th floor conference room (lunch occasionally provided by a generous benefactor:) Volunteers, please contact schnitzr at

Tom Hoatlin, a Council member who is still on the staff of the Center for Independent Living, has also accepted an additional position with the Christopher Reeve Foundation to be the Midwest Regional Coordinator of their National Peer and Family Support Program. This is a new program and he has 7 counterparts around the country. His areas are Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri. For now, he will concentrate on Michigan and ramp up as time goes on. They really want a presence in Chicago and he says that he loves the windy city — lived there and has family there. Congratulations to Tom!

UM’s Veterans Day Celebration on 11/11/11 was a memorable event with three panels (student-veterans/WW-2 veterans/intergenerational veterans from other wars). There was an outstanding exhibit displayed in the Michigan Union’s Art Room--Michigan Military Women, which we will probably invite back next year again. There were also educational talks on taking care of veterans, PTSD, and TBI. The event included an official flag raising and a Day of Remembrance for the fallen soldiers.

In early February there will be a traveling exhibit, “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race,” from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, hosted by Taubman Health Sciences Library. The flyer with details is being prepared and will follow shortly. The exhibition illustrates how Nazi leadership enlisted people in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good, to legitimize persecution, murder and, ultimately, genocide. It will premiere on February 3, 2012 on the 4th floor of the Taubman Health Sciences Library and runs through April 13, 2012. Accompanying the exhibition will be an opening reception and at another, later date there will be closing reflections and a panel discussion.

UMInDS is sponsoring a Spring Conference on Disability/Culture with a call for poster sessions and exhibits. The conference will take place on North Campus on February 2nd (deadline for poster submission is January 24th). A flyer is attached. The audience will consist of Michigan faculty and students as well as the local disability community. For further information, please contact Melanie Yergeau: myergeau at

Presentation by Jane Berliss Vincent, Council member and ITS Assistive Technology Lead

Jane asked that the following request be distributed to anyone in the U-M community interested in providing comments:

U-M and Google are working together to bring a wide array of Web-based tools to the university community. This NextGen Michigan Collaboration Project includes Google email, calendar, Docs, Sites and other tools. The move to Google will be phased in throughout 2012. However, Google Apps currently have known accessibility issues, particularly for assistive technology users. Ongoing work is occurring to identify these issues and their possible work-arounds, and U-M is part of a consortia of universities communicating with Google about this issue. In support of this process, I would like to receive any input from members of the U-M community about experiences with Google Apps, accessibility problems encountered with other U-M supported systems (e.g., C-Tools), and any related issues. Your input may be shared with the NextGen team, which is responsible for Google Apps implementation; however, your name, email, and all other personal information will be removed before your comments are forwarded. Please contact jbvincen at or 734-936-3794.

The URL for the GPII project that Jane described in a previous meeting on Nov 2nd* (“cloud” in the future that will contain and hold user info/assistive technology info/device info—all ready to go when user signs on) :

Jane also provided the members with the following information and described GPII, an assistive technology data system stored on the cloud with much potential for personal preferences and which can be kept confidential by using a generic sign-in.

Resources on tactile way-finding maps

Discussion about Council’s Mission Statement and Strategic Plan

(handouts had been distributed to attendees before the meeting):

Anna read the Council’s Mission Statement (below), and discussion ensued about how the criteria are being met and what we should continue to strive to meet. A suggestion was made that we include promoting self-advocacy (not just advocating for others); this will be incorporated into Mission Statement. A question was raised about students in AA not having peer support as occurs at UM-Flint. The need for even greater visibility of both Council and SSD was emphasized; perhaps by advertising on a FaceBook page? Mention was made of needing pro-action rather than reaction (preventing need for retrofitting as in the case of Kellogg’s Brehm Center). Equipment at UMHS is not totally accessible preventing independence where possible, e.g., call buttons for patients; perhaps we could gather information and present to Ora Peskovitz. There is a long-standing, desperate need for a campus accessibility map with real user input ; perhaps this would be a concern we (Jack and/or Anna) could bring up to Regents at a meeting? General consensus: We have made progress but, of course, there is always more to be made.

As we conclude our second decade, we look to our revised Mission Statement as a guide (dated January 2003):

Mission Statement

  • Promote the development of a physical and social environment that provides full access of programs, services, and facilities to every person in the University community (students, faculty, staff, guests).
  • Advance the University’s commitment to the quality of experience for all persons, including those with disabilities.
  • Act in an advisory capacity to recommend University programs and policies that assure full opportunity and access to qualified individuals with disabilities.
  • Advocate for the concerns of members of the University community who have disabilities.
  • Educate the University community by increasing our awareness of and sensitivity to all issues related to individuals who have disabilities.

Strategic Plan

The CFDC recently developed its first strategic plan, which contains the key objectives below.

Increase Awareness and Education, by:

  • Increasing general awareness about disability, and accessibility through education of various populations
  • Increasing specific information about disability among leadership, including University leadership and University Facilities leadership
  • Substantiating issues related to disability and accessibility Mobilizing Resources
  • Promote Consistent University Disability Policy Interpretation, by increasing consistency in baseline interpretation of University policies related to non-discrimination and reasonable accommodation of faculty and staff with disabilities