CfDC Minutes — January 10, 2007

Present: Jack Bernard, Chair; Doug White, Vice-Chair; Margaret Hough (welcome, Margaret!); Gerald Hoff; Carolyn Grawi; Susan Smart (welcome, Susan!); Carole Dubritsky; Jill Rice; Susan Bourrie; Joe Lentini; Martha Reck; Sam Goodin; Paul Guttman; Daniel Heumann; Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes).

Doug called the meeting to order in Jack's momentary absence, and introductions were made all around.

It was announced that there will be a UM library liaison for the subject of disabilities and the home base for this subject will be the Health Sciences Libraries; the person named for the liaison position is Anna.

Susan discussed problems with 8.0 Jaws software, online applications at UM, applications for Google, and the fact that an individual named John at Wolverine Tower will be helpful to thos ewho need a screen reader when applying for jobs there. Susan left that venue with a very positive impression. The question was asked whether an ErgoPod might be installed at Wolverine.

Carole will follow up on Jaws/Zoomtext. She discussed PET (pre-employment testing) re: accessibility, gave a little history and description, saying that the job title, not experience, drives this mechanism and it is intended for external candidates only. Accommodation will be provided, such as sign language interpreters, increased test time, and other factors as needed. The phone interview uses a script and confirms dates of employment only. Michigan relay can be used if needed for the phone interview.

The group then watched Dennis Borel's video about the group of individuals with disabilities who made the 22 day trek to the base camp of Everest. Anna has the video if anyone wants to borrow it for viewing (schnitzr@umich.edu)

Jack distributed a letter (which may follow separately later on) about UM needing infrastructure of hardware/software to provide virtual access to those who have special needs. Jim Knox has been working mightily to provide this, but he is part-time in this capacity and cannot be the only one working on this issue for the entire campus. We have lost Mike Elledge, another expert, to MSU. There are good intentions and we have made strides, but there is no built-in structure to provide this type of needed access. Jack is pushing this initiative forward in hopes of achieving a centralized, permanent service.

Danny brought up the question of the Stadium renovation and there was a brief discussion about it.

Carole explained that she will discuss North Quad, which is new construction, in detail at a later meeting. Carolyn raised several accessibility issues about North Campus. Carole stated that if one encounters such problems, one should let Carole know (cfd@umich.edu)about them. Carole will cover the campus accessibility in general after she surveys the hospital and eventually its 30-some offsites.