CfDC Minutes—February 1, 2006

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Darlys VanderBeek (Welcome, Darlys!), Gerald P. Hoff (Welcome, Gerald!), Jay Sennett, Douglas K. White (Vice-Chair, Presiding; Becky Rohre; Ryan Stork; Martha Reck; Ryan Stork (Welcome, Ryan!),Samir Karim; Mark Davis-Craig; Liz O'Dell (Welcome, Liz!), Sam Goodin, Mike Elledge (Goodbye, Mike!), Neika C. White, Miesha White (Welcome, Niesha!), Wallace Genser, Carole Dubritsky, Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (Minutes).


Doug White called the meeting to order in lieu of our Chair, Jack Bernard, who could not make the meeting because he had to be in California.

Introductions were made around the table.

Blog Workshop and Discussion

Jay Sennett presented a short workshop on the blog, which he called "convening in cyberspace." Our blog will keep a historical record of our ideas and activities, and we will be able to comment on specific topics that eventually will be our main blog categories. Anyone can comment, but in order to post (start an original thread), we should send e-mail to Jay ( and he will issue an invitation/directions. Jay said that he is happy to hold additional workshops. The blog will be successful only if we use it to exchange ideas (e-mail often loses the thread of what is being discussed, whereas in a blog one can keep subjects in categorie and add comments). It will be particularly helpful for IAW organizing.

Doug suggested that there be a subcommittee for categories in the blog. Jay, Anna, Doug, and Darlys will be members. Accessibility of the blog was discussed. Mike will check on how it works with Jaws, etc. Later, we can move our blog to MBlog when the latter is more functional.

Doug thanked Jay for instructing us.

Investing in Ability Discussion


Depression/IAW Committee (Becky, Carole, Mark, Elizabeth will meet tomorrow and are "on a roll," (Becky said).

Darlys mentioned that all aspects of mental health should be included, not just depression, which will be the case. Since Mental Health Week is the first week in October, perhaps that is the week for the IAW Depression events.

Doug mentioned that "Murderball" is on the list of best documentary movies.

Doug suggested that IAW could use "My Body Politic," a memoir by Simi Linton, published by UM Press as reading for IAW, as discussed with Wally, for HSSP summer reading and a 600-800 LSA student pilot program to piggyback onto it.

The Speakers Committee was formed consisting of Martha, Sam, Doug and Anna.

Carole presented an idea for all-campus, all-student, or all-community involvement with respect to a poster competition with an $500 honorarium to the winner. Dates were discussed with possible submission in September. A Poster Committee was formed consisting of Liz, Doug, Gerald, and Carole.

Jay discussed having an IAW project concerning getting things done at UM, since some faculty are involved with students and others with research, and sometimes people get lost in the "organized anarchy." Departmental managers are crucial in accessibility matters as well as in many other areas. Discussion ensued, and it was decided that we could have an educational panel which would include Jay (perhaps Carole could moderate?) to discuss strategies on how to get things done, successful negotiating with the right person in this large, bureaucratic institution--sort of a presentation of tools to use in sometimes adverse local climates.

Unite for Sight Introduction

Ryan presented Unite for Sight, a project of Vision USA that he and his group hope to focus locally and on campus. He explained about screening the homeless and possibly putting them in touch with the Optometric Institute of Detroit. The group would also like to present at elementary schools and promote healthy vision there.

Other Items

Sam presented the new SSD orientation letter mentioning special needs and also the policy for accommodations.

Anna mentioned having nominated Sarah Watkins for the MLK Undergraduate Award; however, this is not a good year since Sarah is not at UM but working with Adapt in Chicago right now.

Carole stated that she had met with Dance Marathon and they had exchanged ideas about cues for when the dance changes (colored lights) and obtaining an interpreter; the rest room issues were straightened out, too.

Carole will spend 3 days at Univ Wisc/Madison viewing new dorm under construction and meeting with ADA Coordinator, Hospital Services, and Web Site Accessibility people.

Mike told the Council about February 17th being his last day at UM and that he enjoyed working with the Council, seeing its progress and knowing that there will be further accomplishments as we go along. He has found four people who will partner on accessible sites. He has asked someone to take over the CfDC web site but has not yet received a response. So far no takers on the course materials workshop, so that position is still open.

Doug and the Council Members thanked Mike for all his good work over the years!

Anna said that "Paws with a Cause" will be returning for next year's IAW.

The meeting was adjourned a few minutes after 1 p.m.

Note: Order of discussion has been changed to group related items.