CfDC Minutes — February 3, 2010

Attending: Ellen Stross (guest speaker); Carolyn Grawi; Ray Woodcock; Cheri Pace; Scott Williams; Sally Haines; Carole Dubritsky; Emily Campbell (guest speaker); Paul Guttman; Christa Moran; Jill A. Rice; Betsy Erwin; Stuart Segal; Alexandra Xan Luck; Lea Detlefs; Tom Bayer; Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, interim chair and minutes.

Serving as the Interim Chair, Anna welcomed the speakers Ellen and Emily, and introductions were made around the table in the Huetwell Room.

Ellen Stross, who is a librarian at Plymouth District Library, spoke to us about the Low Vision Resource Center that she maintains at the Plymouth Library. Since 20% of senior citizens over the age of 65 develop vision loss, particularly macular degeneration, she has magnifiers that they can borrow for 3 weeks; she invites experts to speak on a variety of topics at a support group held on the first Thursday of each month at 1 pm. Her group started with 12 people and has been as high as 35 participants. She sends out a quarterly newsletter to all Plymouth and the Township. Ellen has obtained a couple of grants to bring in speakers. There is a van available but it transports only disabled seniors. Next, as part of her “two-pronged talk,” Ellen jumped on her “soapbox” (by her own admission) to tell us about Kellogg Eye Center’s apparent reluctance to refer patrons with eye problems to the occupational therapist there. She was instrumental in instituting a resource center in the Glaucoma Clinic, which, unfortunately has only print materials and no person available to help the patient.

Ellen reminded us that on April 15th there will be a program with Dr. Lylas Mogk from Henry Ford Hospital speaking about rehabilitation therapy with respect to low vision. On May 12th there will be a big convention called Visions 2010 (maybe held at Washtenaw Community College) that will exhibit all kinds of technology for low vision and blindness.

Emily Campbell, our second speaker, is the Physician/Hospital Liaison for the Down Syndrome Support Team of Washtenaw County – this is a new position created to help spread the word about her group and advocate for families and people with Ds within the medical community. She explained that she is really interested in working within the University of Michigan system because it has developed a not-so-great reputation in the Ds community, particularly the birth center. Emily and her group want to make sure that the people who have first contact with families are properly prepared.

Suggestions from the Council members included: writing to the UMHS top administration and suggesting that the staff maintain a checklist for medical service providers (see Dr. Atul Gewandte’s article in “The New Yorker” which was then developed into a book: The Checklist Manifesto How to Get Things Right By Atul Gawande(Metropolitan Books; 209 pages; $24.50). There could also be checklists for later life issues—what you tell the patient and family. These lists could be used outside the hospital in schools, also.

A discussion ensued about training and sensitizing the third year medical students specifically. The first and second year medical students have experiential learning and are assigned to a family. However, the residents and fellows often transfer in from other institutions and may not have been sensitized there.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Carolyn: Vouchers at Max and Erma on Thursday, 2/11 will provide the Center for Independent Living with 20% of your bill. For the Youth Advocacy Program at CIL—anyone between 14 and 16 should contact CIL. In Detroit on June 22-26, there will be a US Social Forum with a Disability Justice Subcommittee that you can join (meets bimonthly—phone meetings.

Carole: Send your comments/suggestions about Cousins renovation about addition to East side of Crysler (approved by Regents). Carole said Cousins will be closed for a few years/gutted, and North Quad will open in the fall.

Ellen: Dr. Mogk has a grant for one on one visits with OT, made a checklist for low vision, conference for architects took place about signage for low vision.

Sally announced that at Rackham on Mar 12, 13 there will be a synopsis of 50 years of social justice: Bring It Back, Take It Forward. SSW is sponsoring students to go to U.S. Forum in Detroit . There will be oral history panels and intergenerational dialog.

Alexandra: works for IGR program on intergroup relationships dealing with social justice and identity to educate staff. There will be a course on disabilities and also on race.

Anna announced that The Michigan Daily had come through with a couple of nice articles, one on an athlete Singleton who is a sprinter and happens to have one leg, and another on hidden disabilities.

Tom announced that he will bring in the recording of the CTN interview on 1/28 with Ryan and the workshop members as soon as it is ready. Maybe we can put it onto the site as streaming video, it was suggested.