Minutes of CfDC Meeting, January 11, 2006

Attending: Jack Bernard, Chair, Doug White, Vice-chair, Becky Rohre, Mike Elledge, Craig Luck (welcome, Craig!), Martha Reck (welcome, Martha!), Elizabeth Sikkenga, Carole Dubritsky, Neika White (welcome, Neika!), Alison Hardin (welcome, Alison!); Tracy TenEyck (welcome, Tracy), Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes).

Introductions were made around the table. There being no official agenda for this meeting, Anna introduced the topic of the Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore not allowing a guide dog on the premises, with the thought of preventing a similar situation on our campus. Carole will investigate.


Carole explained that Council input into new construction is both desirable and available. Samir Karim, Senior Hospital Architect, volunteered to help simplify blueprints for interested CfDC members. Ross School of Business blueprints are available in Carole's office. Contact Carole (cfd@umich.edu) to make an appointment to see these; also, meeting time might be used to view these if prior arrangements are made. Carole will e-mail us to remind everybody. Jack brought up the topic of appropriate use of space and mentioned example of a light for signers if the rest of the room is darkened. There could be across-the-board recommendations that would serve to increase accessibility everywhere for all construction.

Jack described the recent Supreme Court "slip decision" about the 11th Amendment with ADA damages collectible if there is a constitutional violation along with other illegalities; interestingly, this decision was led by Judge Scalia.

Tracy and Alison described Dance Marathon and mentioned that they are now taking their organization into the community for input and recognition. Discussion ensued about inaccessible restrooms in the Track and Field Building, which Carole will investigate. Tracy and Alison told about the 20 hours of dancing on March 25th and 26th with their wonderful fund-raising results to be used for social and physical pediatric therapy. Discussion evolved about allowing other types of "dancing," such as in wheelchairs ("dance and roll") or on a track by a blind marathoner, for example. Elizabeth described the UM Viewbook for new student applicants, saying that she is looking for profiles of different types of students including those with disabillities. Discussion took place about pre-admisstion acknowledgement of available accommodations and consensus was that all early materials should have welcoming information about accessibility at UM.

Jack explained how the law changes from high school level to college (IDEA) with latter requiring self-advocacy.

Neika spoke about "Breaking the Silence," the video about deaf and hard of hearing students.


*Jack stated that both participation in and planning for events are needed and that CfDC members should work "offline" and commit to events that they are interested in working with. We need to have both ideas and elbow grease and to do more than we have done in the past. CfDC starts out with a zero budget and is dependent on different units for their generosity in funding us.

Brainstorming for October (although events sometimes bleed over into other months): we have had very good luck with partnerships in the past. Craig announced that on behalf of Cathy and the UMHS Diversity Group, they would be happy to partner with CfDC again and that they could even provide funding beyond last year's. Alison suggested that Dance Marathon could apply for funding from student organizations and that DM would also be happy to partner with CfDC. In October, DM sponsors a Pediatric Ability Day that we could incorporate into our IAW schedule/advertising/poster. Becky brought up the topic of stressing depression as a disability issue, possibly going along with anger management. Various groups might be tapped as partners: CAPS, EAP, SAPAC, Depression Center, FASAP, and Rackham, etc.

Anna volunteered to ask Donney if she would consider being the Head of the Neubacher Awards Committee again this year.

Jack had some ideas for a budget proposal.

We decided to use the blog that Jay Sennett set up to add comments and ideas about Investing in Ability Events.

Here is what you can do:

1) Click on the following link:

www.sswfacilities.typepad.com/cfdc [link now inactive]

2) For the password, in the first block (and this is case-sensitive so copy abbreviation exactly) insert:


and in the second block insert:


3) Under the Agenda for January 2006, you can identify yourself and click on comments to add your commitment to events and ideas. I inserted some thoughts just to get the ball rolling. Let us know if this does not work for you, and we will get some technical expertise to help you.

The meeting was adjourned at 1 pm.